Shortly after a report was released today in the United Kingdom, criticizing the slow pace on infrastructure development across the country, the British International Freight Association (BIFA), representing U.K.-based freight forwarders, echoed similar admonishments to Parliament regarding the continuing delays in the third-runway project for Heathrow Airport.
In the first “Annual Monitoring Report,” compiled by the U.K.’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), the organization’s chairman, John Armitt, scolded the national government, saying, “It is imperative that a Parliamentary vote on the expansion of Heathrow takes place no later than this summer. Any further delay would be irreconcilable with the government’s commitment to deliver the infrastructure the country needs.”
In response, Robert Keen, director general of BIFA, made a similar call for action. “Today, we have seen the value of having an independent National Infrastructure Commission to hold the government accountable for lack of action on key national infrastructure issues,” he wrote. “We share the disappointment expressed by Sir John Armitt, chairman of the NIC, about the lack of progress with expansion at Heathrow and agree that the government needs to deliver on its promise of making a decision on the airport”s third runway by the summer.”
For several years, Keen added, Parliament has consistently identified the need for capital and infrastructure investments and acknowledged a “pressing need to improve the country’s transport infrastructure across all modes,” yet the plans continued to be bogged down with delays. “Today’s NIC report shows that it’s time for action, not words,” he added.
As far back as 2016, the British government gave the green light to the development of a third runway at Heathrow, but the project has faced opposition from nearby residents, which has delayed a scheduled vote in the House of Commons. The vote has also been delayed by an unscheduled general election, which sent the Heathrow issue to a lower priority in Parliament.2 - Readers Like This Post