Airports in the South East could help boost Liverpool’s connectivity

Business backers are joining in a Liverpool meeting with political and civil leaders in March to hammer out how the expansion of  airports in the South East of England could help to boost Liverpool’s connectivity with London and overseas markets.

Business chiefs say that their aim is to support jobs, growth, and increased economic funding for both the north west and the south east.

Held on 14 March, the North West Air Connectivity Roundtable will be held at Tate Liverpool, coinciding with the weekend for the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference which will also be held in the city; at ACC Liverpool.

The event will be organised by the airports expansion group, Let Britain Fly, in association with think tank CentreForum.

It is believed that some of the extra slots generated by expansion of airports down south would be used to  reinstate flights from Liverpool to London, and in turn offer an economic incentive for the Merseyside economy that would increase local growth.

Liverpool Riverside Labour MP and Transport Select Committee chair Louise Ellman said:

“All efforts must be made to link Liverpool with additional slots in the South East.”

Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce chief executive Jenny Stewart said:

“Reinstating flights from Liverpool to London is long overdue and fundamental to helping us attract new business here. The absence of direct flights is bound to make potential foreign investors wonder why the city doesn’t seem to merit an air link with the capital, so for the Merseyside economy airports expansion cannot come a moment too soon – politicians in Westminster need to stop deliberating and get on with it.”

Gavin Hayes, Let Britain Fly director, added:

“Airports expansion isn’t really about where to build new runways, it’s about laying the foundations for the UK’s future economic prosperity.

“A lack of capacity at South East airports not only has economic ramifications for London, but the whole of the UK including Liverpool as demonstrated by the city’s lack of an air link with the capital.

“Politicians need to grasp the moment and get on with it – doing nothing is not an option.”

This roundtable discussion will be poised to capitalise on the decision of the government-established Airports Commission, which will choose whether Gatwick or Heathrow will be given the go ahead to add more runway capacity.


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Words: Peter Cribley

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