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Foster’s estuary airport woos just 16% of MPs

The majority of MPs prefer expanding Heathrow to creating a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary, a poll has found

An Ipsos MORI survey of 93 MPs revealed 46 per cent of parliamentarians supported plans for a third runway at Heathrow – despite David Cameron and Ed Milliband’s opposition to the controversial proposal.

Just 16 per cent of respondents backed plans for a hub airport in the Thames Estuary such as Foster and Partners’ £50 billion vision.

A total 42 per cent voted in favour of enlarging Gatwick and 39 per cent supported enlarging Stansted.

The poll comes weeks after Make and Weston Williamson revealed mega-hub proposals for Stansted and Luton respectively.

Carl Phillips, director at Ipsos MORI’s Reputation Centre, told the Evening Standard: ‘The idea of a London Gateway airport has been disregarded by the majority of MPs – clearly the Mayor has his work cut out if he wants to win support for a new airport.

‘Meanwhile, the option of expanding Heathrow sees MPs polarised, especially across the Conservative benches. Labour MPs are the most likely to support a third runway, but only half support it, while the Liberal Democrats are vehemently opposed. By contrast, while the idea of building additional runways at Gatwick and or Stansted attracts a comparatively strong level of support across the House, there is no majority view.’

An alliance of 20 local authorities has meanwhile warned measures to reduce noise impact on communities living under the Heathrow impact should not be eroded to increase the airport’s capacity.

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: ‘No other airport in Europe has flightpaths over such densely populated areas. 2M will urge the Davies Commission to dismiss any proposal that heaps more misery on these communities.

‘There is no escaping the fact that Heathrow is in the wrong place for a major airport and any form of expansion will have devastating consequences for Londoners’ quality of life.’

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