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Government considers options in bid to boost airports


Posted on 7/01/2013 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

As the British government seeks new ways to increase the efficiency of the country's supply chains, attention is being turned to the UK's major airports, with new solutions being proposed on how to channel the national transport network in such a way that will maximise trade with overseas markets.

A study entitled Modelling the Effects of Price Differentials at UK Airports has come to the conclusion that increasing taxes on the country's major hubs, such as Heathrow and Gatwick, could relieve congestion by encouraging more passengers to use regional airports, according to the Chartered institute of Logistics and Transport.

Politicians including former green advisor Zac Goldsmith have been conducting the study, which was commissioned by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, and are now suggesting a tax increase of up to 50 per cent on the country's larger airports after concluding that the expansion of regional hubs in recent years has failed to draw passengers away from the larger terminals, particularly in the capital.

The increased capacity at smaller airports is currently not being made proper use of, according to Sarah Clayton of the campaign group AirportWatch, who insists that increased use of smaller terminals can help ease the congestion problems at some of London's bigger facilities.

Meanwhile, former director of projects at British Rail, Dick Keegan, is urging the government to consider building a high-speed rail link to the north of England from Stratford station, due to its excellent connections to the capital's airports.

Current plans for a new railway link between London and Birmingham are set to be routed through Euston, and Mr Keegan is now saying a similar project should be undertaken from the east London hub.

"Stratford already serves Stansted airport, City airport and Southend, and when Crossrail is completed it will be possible to transfer there to travel to Heathrow", insists Mr Keegan, who says a rail link to the north of England will help the country improve its connections to Europe and the rest of the world.

Restructuring the rail network in order to better supply the country's airports is likely to result in the creation of new transport manager jobs around the UK.

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