We’re all seasoned travellers here, so we are qualified to tell the gubmint which new runway to approve. There are no hubs which really offer an enhanced experience (!) – at least that I know of – so the decision for me comes down to ease of access to/from London for the common customer. LHR or LGW?
Easy. By car, bus, train or taxi LHR is quicker, cheaper and far less frustrating. I’m sure you all agree ?
13 thoughts on “The runway”
The more I fly to Frankfurt, the more I long for Heathrow. Strictly in terms of practicality Heathrow is the only sensible option. Shatwick is just too far away from Central London. It serves its purposes, I suppose, in the same way that Luton and Stansted do — but it will never be an ideal hub. Even a third runway only partially solves the problem, though. On numerous BA and Luxembourg Airlines flights pilots have complained about the congestion over South-East England. Building runways at Heathrow and Gatwick won’t, can’t solve this problem. Birmingham, Manchester, blessed Weegiestan and Scotland’s greatest gem of a city, Auld Reekie, need to be expanded, too. BA’s insistence on Heathrow means that competitors such as KLM are making inroads in a formerly captive population. Singapore Airlines and the ghastly Trio from the Persian Gulf are also doing quite well by poaching in Britain’s regional cities.
Cannot say I agree, Christopher. What is actually needed is an extra runway at both airports, with Gatwick being built first as it will not cost anywhere near as much especially to the taxpayer, and possibly one at Stansted too. In general, Gatwick is much easier to reach by train. and for me personally from where I live it is easier by road. Also, there will be lawyers rubbing their hands with glee over the Heathrow decision, and the green loonies will be making a nuisance of themselves, as usual. Congestion in the sky will be a problem that will have to be sorted whatever the final outcome, by improving technology.
FEEG: Gatwick would be easier, that point is moot. Most businesses prefer Heathrow, though. Most airlines prefer Heathrow, as well. Heathrow’s network is better and its rail and tube connexions are better — and cheaper. Gatwick is better suited for people living in southern and eastern London and parts of the far South-East, though. As I said, it serves its purpose.
Christopher: Rail access to Heathrow is very limited and more expensive than Gatwick, especially as it only two thirds the distance from central London .It can only be reached via Paddington. It may be better when Crossrail is finished but that is a matter of waiting and seeing. The tube is a dreadful way to access Heathrow, especially if you have any luggage. Many tube interface stations do not have lifts and some do not have escalators either.
Gatwick can be reached from at least London termini and also from the west and Midlands via Reading using rail. The roads are equally bad around both airports and both need upgrading even without any new runways. I still think both airports should be expanded.
FEEG: I’ve endured LCY, LGW and LHR. The London airport which least strikes fear in my heart is London City. Small, civilised and not too far from the centre of London. I understand your point about Gatwick, but I’ve still found it far more difficult to deal with Gatwick than Heathrow. I’ve plenty of experience in dragging large pieces of luggage through the Tube, too. This involves dragging suitcases up inordinately long flights of stairs. A terrible nuisance, I agree.
I agree with you, however, that both must be expanded — and I will say again that Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh should also be expanded to help relieve pressure off South-East England. If Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, Delta, Qatar, Emirates, PIA, Air India and Air Canada fly long-haul flights to these airports, why can’t BA or Virgin? I’m entirely convinced that there’d be more than enough traffic to justify having at lease several weekly flights from, say, San Francisco to Manchester or Birmingham to Hong Kong.
It might be a far better idea to discourage people from running round the world like headless chickens!
No doubt the whole thing will be become moot when the next seriously killer plague or WWIII arrives.
CO, is your middle name Cassandra? 😏
Janus: The problem is that Cassandra was actually correct, everyone else just chose to ignore that fact!
Two things about LHR.
1. It will take 10yrs to build the runway.
2. LHR will be too small on the day that the new runway opens.
I agree with Christina.
OK, by train it’s a toss-up between the two. Except LGW has Southern Rail. Booo. By road, no contest – LHR wins. The northern airports, Luton and Ststd can’t even compete in terms of London access. B’ham manages to remain provincial, and road access to M’chester is a nightmare.
I’d have thought it was pretty bloody obvious that this world is heading for some ghastly denouement, overpopulation, lack of clean potable water, exhausted soils from monoculture, reducing biodiversity, plagues such as SARS ans zika spreading all too quickly due to air travel etc etc.
Not exactly difficult to foresee where it is going to end is it? That is apart from geological phenomena, putative climatic change and all out wars.
It is all very well pretending not to see it but some of us are less prone to delusions. Humanity has to have been the most destructive and self destructive species ever. Arrogance and idiocy will surely bring about our own downfall.
B*gger! Does that mean the end of Coronation Street?
Janus: No, it will simply be re-branded “Coronation Runway”.