Tuesday, 11 November 2008

'Boris Island' still floating around inside City Hall

Boris Johnson is pressing ahead with his fantasy island:

"Highly experienced engineer and Executive Chair of Crossrail Doug Oakervee has agreed to lead the Greater London Authority's preliminary feasibility study into a new airport in the Thames Estuary, the Mayor confirmed today."

Kit Malthouse is ecstatic:

"To have such a colossal figure from the engineering world bringing his extensive skills and judgement to this unique and important project is great news."

Kulveer Ranger is more measured:

"His conclusion will be based on thorough and detailed analysis and will be crucial in aiding a final decision on the feasibility of an airport in the Thames Estuary."

So what about Boris? Where does he stand?

"The Mayor has made it clear that if there is an overriding economic, environmental, political or practical reason why the airport would not work, then he will not progress the project"


"But he is determined to consider all the arguments first so it can be decided once and for all whether the airport is a feasible option."

Phew. He's still with you Kit. Don't worry yourself man, he's still with you all the way...

-Update- Boris Island is 'dead in the water' says BATA


Anonymous said...

So there's no money for established infrastructure projects with existing PFI credits but there's plenty of money for crackpot schemes which nobody wants. Nice.

The Troll said...

To be fair Kit Malthouse wants it quite a lot.

Helen said...

I'm sure we could persuade Anthea Turner to make him one - I've got some toilet roll tubes and paint.

Anonymous said...

Indeed. This is outside Boris' remit and while there's "simply no money" for things that would benefit London and are ready to go, money has been found for this boondoggle. If I remember rightly, Maplin got killed off even before the motorway box as it was just too expensive.

I am inclined to think that there are some vested interests who are behind Boris' Boondoggles (such as this and the 21st century BorisBus) and Boris has got himself beholden to them.


Tom said...

"Maplin got killed off even before the motorway box"

Virtually at the same time, in 1973, due to the recession and oil price rises. Funny, that. The Labour GLC killed the Ringways, however, while the Tory Government killed Maplin, which had only started out as a response to the logical choice at Cublington destroying large areas of Olde England.

They were connected, in that the projections for Maplin required (eventually) two complete motorway connections plus high-speed rail - the motorways were obviously linked in with the Ringways - indeed the first one has a few yards in existence, at the end of the M11 where it joins the North Circular.

More information:

Naturally, Boris International would require some kind of hefty road-building, not least because the obvious routes to get to it from, well, anywhere go via the M25. Which is full.

prj45 said...

Thing is that as Mayor of London he should be spending his time sorting out circumstances surrounding the pretty much inevitable runway three at Heathrow, not sticking his head in the sand about it and playing toy airports with his chum Malthouse.

TheGreenTop said...

The idea got a mauling in the Commons debate on Tuesday - even from Tory MPs. It was all highly amusing.

keefer said...

I did once suggest to some TV bods about making a programme called Johnsons' Island, which would have featured Boris's clan, Paul Johnson, Frank Johnson (Then losing the Spectator to Boris), and Michael Johnson the Olympic athelete. Sort of Lost with people called Johnson (and before Lost I hasten to add) Never did get made. But maybe the time is near

gill moore said...

No airport in the Thames Estuary

Along with the RSPB, Friends of the North Kent Marshes are wholly opposed to the construction of an airport anywhere in the Thames Estuary because of the immense damage it would cause to the area’s internationally important wildlife and the wider environment.The whole issue was exhaustively investigated between 2002 and 2005 in the Government’s Aviation White Paper. All the key players, including the aviation industry, contributed. The idea of an airport in the Thames Estuary was conclusively ruled out and upheld by the High Court. In addition to the unprecedented environmental damage and the resulting massive legal implications, the investigation found that an estuary airport did not make sense economically, would not meet the requirements of the aviation industry and presented a significantly higher risk of ‘bird strike’ than at any other major airport in the UK. It would potentially be the single biggest piece of environmental vandalism ever perpetrated in the UK. The Government would have to recreate any lost or damaged habitat elsewhere BEFORE work on the airport could start and even then only if they could prove there is no alternative site for the expansion and it is in the overriding public interest.They would face a legal battle, which could last for years.
Climate change remains the greatest threat to biodiversity and along with the RSPB we believe that there should be no further airport expansion. The construction of a massive new airport in the Thames Estuary will have impacts that extend far outside the immediate area. Emissions from aircraft remains the fastest increasing source of greenhouse gases and the demand for flights should be managed rather than just accepted as necessary.The Government’s plans for the regeneration of the Thames Gateway are being promoted as low-carbon and stress the importance of greenspace and the natural environment as part of its success. An estuary airport would remove any possibility of the Thames Gateway being low-carbon

The Troll said...

Thanks Gill. This would all be more worrying if Boris had the slightest hope of ever pulling this off. At risk of living to regret writing these words I feel fairly confident in predicting that this is never going to happen, at least not at the hands of Mayor Boris Johnson.