The prospect of a third runway at Heathrow is “dead as a Norwegian parrot,” according to transport secretary Philip Hammond.
His reference to the famous Monty Python sketch about the possiblity of expansion at the UK major internation hub came as part of a wide-ranging weekend interview in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday over the development of proposed a new high speed rail line linking London with the West Midlands.
This will make access to Birmingham airport less than 40 minutes from central London, bringing it closer in terms of travelling time to the capital than Stansted and Luton airports.
Flying between UK cities will be consigned to history along with flights to many destinations in western Europe and Heathrow will operate differently in years to come, Hammond predicted.
Heathrow will be linked to the high speed network but Hammond would not say whether the line will run to the airport or be linked by a spur to a major terminal some distance away.
The planned line through the Chilterns is seen by the government as a vital ingredient of a transport strategy which will have a dramatic impact on the UK’s aviation policy, according to the report.