Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, welcomed Luton Airport’s decision to abandon plans for a new runway which would have increased capacity to the size of Gatwick or even Heathrow.

    “This is great news” he said. “It is a victory for common sense and local protestors. I have always argued that Luton is the least appropriate site for a massive hub airport. So the longer we could delay it the less likely it would be to happen. And that has proved to be true.”

    “But there is still a risk of overexpansion even on the existing site and we must remain vigilant.”

    “Most local people are not opposed to all expansion at Luton as long as three stringent conditions are met.”

    “Firstly, quieter planes offset any increase in the number of flights. Secondly, infrastructure is improved to cope with extra passengers, who will preferably travel by rail. Finally, overall restrictions on carbon emissions should include those from aircraft.”

    “We shall want to be sure Luton does not try to get round these by piecemeal expansion. So we will need a proper planning enquiry if there is any major expansion on the existing site.”