AN MP has dismissed the idea of four runways at Luton Airport as “bonkers” and a ruse designed to undermine Boris Johnson.
Last week the thinktank Policy Exchange said Luton Airport was the “next best option” after Heathrow for increasing airport capacity in the UK.
It ruled out a ‘Boris Island’ Thames Estuary airport option as “too hard to get to for too many people” and beset by environmental and construction challenges, and said Luton could provide the necessary capacity, if Heathrow were politically unfeasible.
Report author Tim Leunig said the airport was close to the M1, “arguably Britain’s most important road” and the Midland Main Line rail route, but that the surrounding terrain was much more challenging than at Heathrow.
Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins said while he was in favour of the planned expansion at Luton to 18 million passengers a year, the idea of four runways was “wholly unrealistic”.
“My impression is that it’s a bit of mischief between different factions in the Conservatsive party,” he said.
“They want something to dent Boris Island.
“A four runway airport would just be beyond anyone’s imagining, it just wouldn’t be feasible.
“If they want more capacity in the south east there is enormous scope for expanding Stansted.”
Campaign group Hale, who are against the expansion of Luton Airport, described the proposals as “Luton Hooey”.
Spokesman Andrew Lambourne said: “Quite apart from the almost incredible arrogance of the proposals in dismissing at a stroke the interests of the local communities, they miss such obvious practical issues that it’s clear they’ve been produced by a lot of web-surfing rather than an actual first-hand appreciation of the area being discussed and its existing infrastructure.”