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[ 15-01-2009 ]

Commenting on the decision by the UK Department for Transport to give the go-ahead to the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“This is good news for the United Kingdom and good news for Scotland.  In a recent Chamber of Commerce survey, over half of Scottish firms said that Heathrow Airport was important to their business.  Whether it is for domestic travel to London and the South East, for onward travel to the rest of the world or for attracting inward bound investors and tourists to Scotland, Heathrow’s value as the UK’s premier hub airport is of great benefit to the economy north of the border.

“A third runway would ensure a better opportunity to secure domestic air links to Scotland, and expand linkages with Aberdeen and Inverness in particular.  In order to maximise the transport benefits to the UK and address the genuine environmental concerns, investment in Heathrow must be accompanied by a clear and unambiguous commitment by Government to the construction of a new dedicated High Speed Rail network linking Scotland with London.
“The combination of a third Heathrow runway and a High Speed Rail network would help bring the British transport system into the 21st century and would deliver tangible economic benefits to Scotland.

“We must now hope that this new project can be progressed as quickly as possible and that the runway is completed on schedule in ten years time.  This is a matter of national economic importance, and we cannot afford any delay.”