Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said a third runway at Heathrow may not “stack up” financially.

Shapps also confirmed a “go or no go” decision on HS2 will be made by the end of the year.

Speaking to Sky News about the third runway, the new transport secretary said that there “questions about whether the whole plan stacks up” and that Heathrow is going to need to “make sure they bring in enough income to justify the billions of pounds spent on it.”

Campaigners against the expansion of Heathrow Airport were granted permission to challenge a High Court ruling over plans for a third runway, which will be heard at the Court of Appeal in October.

More:Heathrow third runway ‘could limit other airport expansion’

“There are of course court cases to do with emissions, that sort of thing so what we’ve said is we’ll watch that process very carefully and in the meantime I’ll be having a really close look at whether figures stack up or whether building more capacity, another runway there, would add to the charges to such an extent that it doesn’t.”

Rob Barnstone from Stop Heathrow Expansion welcomed the comments.

“This refreshing move, compared with Mr Shapps’ predecessor, acknowledges the serious hurdles that Heathrow are far from ever overcoming,” he said.

“Whether it is Heathrow’s overconfidence of being able to deliver the necessary funds for this project or the catastrophic environmental impacts, it is becoming clearer than ever that a third runway won’t be able to be delivered on time or budget and certainly does not fit within the government’s environmental commitments of net zero emissions by 2050.”

MoreNew PM urged to opt for cheaper Heathrow expansion option [Jul 19]

High Court rejects Heathrow third runway challenge [May 19]

Heathrow defends plans for third runway over M25 [Feb 19]