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Boris Bullish Over Boris Island Rejection

Tuesday 2nd September 2014

The Mayor of London is refusing to accept his plan to build an airport on so-called Boris Island in the Thames Estuary is dead.

The Airports Commission says it will now only look at options for expansion at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Speaking to LBC Boris Johnson says another runway at Heathrow would be an environmental disaster.

"It is not the answer, it is not the long-term solution," he said.

"There is no other great city in the world which asks its citizens to endure hundreds of thousands of planes flying over the main conurbation to get to the hub airport."

He continued, "Holland has a hub in Amsterdam that is taking our business and eating our lunch. They have six runways at Schiphol, they're about to build a seventh and we are lagging pathetically behind.

"What is really clear about the current conversation is that the whole thing is a gigantic smokescreen for a U-turn on Heathrow, which politicians haven't got the guts to come forward and say they are in favour of. Let's have this thing out in the open.

"I think that the idea of the Estuary is right. I think if you look at the future development of London, that is where it is going to go."

Boris also denied that his criticims are aimed at the report's author - Sir Howard Davies.

"I've got a lot of admiration in someways for what Howard is saying, he's being honest here, he basically is ruling this thing out because he's not getting the support in Whitehall to go ahead with it," the Mayor added.

"The Government has set up the Davies Commission with a view to seeing whether they can get a reasoned answer but actually, what they are getting, what Howard has been getting, is continual shrieks of panic from Whitehall who've always been wedded to Heathrow. The whole exercise is designed to get a U-turn on Heathrow, to enable a Government of either colour to come in an do that.

"The most interesting thing that Howard has said is that, not only will he, recommend a new runway, either at Heathrow or at Gatwick thought it's not clear, he's still leaving it up in the air, but he says by 2020 we're going to have to come back and go for a fourth runway, now that is absolutely jaw dropping because it means that this whole agony, this whole nightmare, this whole uncertainty over west London and indeed huge parts of London is going to continue. It will be complete Groundhog Day in five years time."