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Livingstone unconvinced by Thames Estuary airport

Ken Livingstone has hit out at plans to build a new London airport

The former London mayor, who is seeking re-election in May this year, claimed a new airport east of the capital would be too costly and could damage wildlife in the area, while also killing off jobs in west London.

Livingstone told The Financial Times: ‘Londoners wish Boris Johnson was as obsessed with making the tube run on time and keeping fares low, as he is with building a Thames Estuary airport.’

He added: ‘An airport in the Thames threatens a huge increase in noise, congestion and pollution for millions of people in the east and south-east of London, especially Bromley, Bexley, Havering and Barking.

‘It also threatens hundreds of thousands of the jobs in west London who rely on Heathrow.’

In November, Foster welcomed George Osborne’s announcement the government would ‘explore all the options for maintaining the UK’s aviation hub status, with the exception of a third runway at Heathrow’.

Last year, Foster + Partners with Halcrow revealed self-funded plans for a new airport on the Isle of Grain which could feature four runways, cost £50 billion and operate 24 hours a day.

Electoral rival London mayor Boris Johnson has also backed plans for an airport on an artificial island in the area known as ‘Boris Island’.

Polls show Livingstone has caught up with Johnson in the race for Londoners’ backing in recent weeks.

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