Blow to Heathrow as Government Rules Out Funding Surface Access Costs

Today, the Government announced that public money would not be used for the related costs of airport expansion.

This is a huge blow to Heathrow whose so-called access costs were more than five times those of Gatwick’s proposal.

The surface access costs for Heathrow expansion are estimated at £5 billion by the Airports Commission, although Transport for London had put the predicted figure at £15-20 billion.

In response to a parliamentary question tabled by Conservative MP and prominent Third Runway opponent Adam Afriyie, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:

“In terms of surface access proposals, the Government has been clear that it expects the scheme promoter to meet the costs of any surface access proposals that are required as a direct result of airport expansion and from which they will directly benefit.”

Mr Afriyie commented on this announcement, saying:

“It is welcome news that the Government has ruled out funding the costs of rail upgrades, moving the M25 and lengthy upgrades to nearby roads.

“The public should not be made to fork out up to 20 billion pounds’ worth of subsidies to a private company. It is disappointing that Heathrow and its shareholders are still refusing to consider paying for these costs.

“Heathrow’s proposals already fail on air quality targets, will impose noise pollution on far more people than any other airport in Europe and will not enable the UK to compete in the long term.

“Heathrow’s Third Runway is a sticking plaster to the UK’s aviation challenge. We need a strategic, long-term solution that will keep us at the forefront of world trade for decades to come.”


Notes to Editors

1.    TfL’s responses on the costs and other consequences of Heathrow expansion can be found here:

2.    Adam Afriyie is a long-standing opponent of Heathrow expansion. Details of his work can be found here: