Today Labour MPs Tom Blenkinsop and Anna Turley called on the government to back Heathrow expansion as the best option for Teesside.
The government is expected to make the final decision on Heathrow expansion this week, over a year after the option was recommended by the independent airport commission.
The MPs pointed to the opportunities Heathrow offers to Teesside and the UK steel industry. A third runway for Heathrow opens the possibility of direct flights from Durham Tees Valley Airport to the capital.
Anna, MP for Redcar, said:
“Heathrow expansion doesn’t just mean Teesside could be better linked to London but to the wider world. It mean Teesside’s economy can be better connected to businesses, from the south of England to as far away as China.
“If the government are serious about attracting investment to our area they need to back Heathrow expansion. This is the final call for a decision and the government need to make it!”
The Heathrow project has also attracted support for its pledge to use UK steel. Tom Blenkinsop and Anna Turley, who respectively, are Chair and Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Steel Group say this could provide a lifeline for the UK steel industry. Figures released last month estimate the third runway project would require approximately 370,000 tonnes of steel and sustain 700 jobs related to the industry over 5 years.
Tom, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said:
“UK steel needs support at the moment. While the government has decided to use French steel to build new trident submarines it has dragged its feet on the decision to back a project which has already committed to use British steel.
“This should be an easy choice for the government: Heathrow has the backing of an independent report, the UK steel industry and a variety of businesses. Theresa May can’t allow a handful of London MPs to veto a project which would help the north and our industry.
“Expansion would be good for UK businesses and good for Teesside.”
In an article for the Guardian this week Andy McDonald, MP for Middlesbrough and Shadow Transport Secretary, said it would take ‘overwhelming evidence’ for the government not to back to decision of the independent commission.