please empty your brain below

Yup, it didn't happen 35 years ago either:

What a good place to put an airport when sea levels are rising...

I'm not saying it will ever happen but I agree with it (as a *least bad* option).

Air travel isn't going to disappear (although short-haul traffic will go down if high speed train lines are built - not that that will happen quickly either). Heathrow (which detrimentally effects thousands of people every day) will not close unless a viable alternative is available. Any alternatives are lost in planning hell by people trying to save their local [insert cause here]. An estuary option effect the least people and, if done right (it has the option of more runways) could close down even more airports if planners had the guts to do it.

Hong Kong is a good comparison as not only is it an island airport - it closed a ridiculously inner-city airport. Other comparisons might be Berlin where 3 inner city airports are relocating to 1 in the countryside - which could be done with Stansted if the land transport options were increased and local interests could be overruled.

No option is great - either option means digging and effecting people - but surely effecting the fewest people (and closing Heathrow) would be better? Anywhere in England will involve damaging our heritage.

I really like your blog, but when you bring up Boris-related subjects I always get the feeling that you have a massive prejudice against him. Your criticisms of him would be more effective if they tried to be balanced...

why 'Maplin' ? what's it got to do with buy resistors from a catalogue?

If the Governmint were serious about cutting emissions, they wouldn't even be thinking about new airports or new runways.

And they'd do a lot more business/hold more meetings by video conferencing and other new technology.

"I always get the feeling that you have a massive prejudice against him (Boris)"

I interpreted such comments as telling truth to power, which is usually quite a good thing.

Unless, of course, you are serious in thinking a 40 billion pound plan for an airport which might not be used whose worth depends on hundreds of billions of pounds additional infrastructure investment is worth doing.

Please see London Reconnections for a v good write up of the latest report on the fantasy island.

Back in the real world, of course, fares are rising and London is struggling.

But that's ok because we have a fantasy bus and a fantasy airport!

"I always get the feeling that you have a massive prejudice against him (Boris)"

I think you will find that most people have massive prejudices against all politicians, particularly at the moment. BoJo's much publicised hatred of bendy buses means that the 507 between Waterloo and Victoria is now 30\\% shorter and runs to exactly the same timetable as the longer bendy-bus used to (meaning that its even more crammed). Of course, most people still manage to get on it without paying, so its acheived nothing except making commuters hot and cross and wrinkled.

BoJo has also announced a massive increase in public transport fares, hitting hard-working people right in the pocket at at time when they can least afford it.

He's also announced that rich people who live in West London and drive enormous 4x4s will soon not have to pay the Congestion Charge.

He's also an upper-class buffoon with a massive personal fortune and property portfolio.

He's also a Tory.

What's not to loathe?

Our local international airport, Kansai International, is built on an artificial island out in Osaka Bay, and offers an example of the sort of problems that such projects face. Not only is it the most expensive civil engineering project in history and massively in debt, but the island also started sinking soon after it was completed, so the terminal buildings have had to be built with special adjustable columns so they can be extended to compensate.

It is quite stunning architecturally, though, and it's always exciting to fly in over the water, with the runway seeming to come out of nowhere right in the final seconds.

Linking with the first post about Maplin sands experimental work began but was halted shorly after on the Maplin sands airport

Also, near Maplin sand, is the bloggers dream site of Pig's bay. Rail spotters heaven!

Well said, Exit, my thoughts exactly. On the contrary, Chris C(onservative?), I think DG is remarkably balanced in his reporting on Mr Johnson.

If we keep building airports, there will be more flights. If we stop building airports, there can't be any more flights (beyond the levels we already have). If we don't want there to be any more flights, we should stop building airports. Easy.

I really don't understand why politicians, even otherwise quite sensible ones, fail to grasp this.

That's the great thing about blogs - the author can say whatever he/she wants to. No requirement to be balanced! If I don't like what I read on a blog, I can always stop reading it.

Think about Heathrow. Drive for five miles in any direction. What do you see? Business parks. Distribution centres. Catering companies. Importers. Exporters. Parcels hubs. Bus depots. Lorry depots. Hotels. This is in addition to the nearly 100,000 people who work at Heathrow and travel in every day from places all around London and the Thames Valley.

Where will you put all of that surrounding infrastructure?

Mad, mad, mad.

(Sorry, that could be interpreted as being unbalanced to Boris. So

Boris was jolly good on Have I Got News For You.

I really like your blog, but when you bring up Boris-related subjects I always get the feeling that you have a massive prejudice against him. Your criticisms of him would be more effective if they tried to be balanced...
Chris C | 10.21.09 - 11:39 am

what would you have added to the post to make it balanced??? what fact is missing???

I think I am totally biased in favour of Boris's dad. One of the EU nature designations that covers parts of the Thames Estuary comes from the Habitats Directive and Boris's dad, Stanley Johnson, was one of the authors and architects of this important Directive. So, thank you to Stanley Johnson and could you have a word with Boris please! Oh and Boris, please listen carefully to your father, it seems you may have a lot to learn from him when it comes to wildlife!
above info courtesy RSPB

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