If you were a tourist in the UK this week, then based on the TV and newspapers, you’d think that the whole county cared obsessively about whether it’s Heathrow or Gatwick airport is expanded. The short answer is: we don’t. No matter how much fuss the media make about London, I personally couldn’t care less, and I’m sure plenty of people in Manchester feel the same.
The media have been clever in framing this debate – the bigger question, of course, should be ‘do we really need another runway serving the capital city, when we could spend the £18bn of public money in countless other more meaningful ways?’
Londoners will of course demand that they need the best airport in the world, to go with all their glittering art galleries, ballrooms, marble arches and ivory towers. But what of the rest of us?
If it’s air capacity you want, you could increase utilisation or expand the regional airports – like Manchester or Birmingham – for a fraction of that price, and, with the planned HS2 train-line, you could actually get people into central London quicker than getting on the London underground anyway?
Better, if they actually invested £18bn in the regions, making them an even better place to live and work, the businessmen and tourists might just be able to bypass London altogether, and come to Manchester direct?!
Failing all that, £18bn would go a long way to propping up our schools or the NHS…? I’d rather it went there than was wasted on something else which is exclusively for London. £18bn is probably enough to build a motorway from Liverpool to Hull?
But no. Instead, our political ‘leaders’ will be spanking it all on another grand project for London that will have no benefit to the rest of us.
Become a member for just £2 a month and save at over 130+ CityCard venues