The horrible Coronavirus crisis has I think taught us a few very important lessons about hyper-mobility society we’ve been living in and the damage to lives and the environment that is the inevitable cost of it all.
Zoom and more
People have really woken up to video conferencing for a start. Maybe many of those so important ‘business’ trips aren’t so important after all. Maybe it’s not really necessary to fly 3000 miles to meet that client or supplier over lunch and an expensive bottle of wine.
Because of the restrictions Coronavirus has placed on travelling and socialising, we can see it’s quite possible for several people to successfully hold meetings online, at a fraction of the cost of actually flying there or indeed travelling several hundred miles there and back on a train.
Expansion profits Heathrow’s owners
John Holland-Kaye of Heathrow is frequently proclaiming how ‘essential’ Heathrow and its expansion is for the UK Economy. NO, it’s expansion is essential for the profits of the strangely named FGP Topco Ltd, British Airways and other major airlines there. Most goods arrive by container ship and in fact, although Holland-Kaye and his colleagues constantly bang on about Heathrow being a ‘business airport’, in fact it would seem there is a huge increase of business meetings during the summer holidays and at Christmas!
Of course, a certain amount of business travel is essential, but I would submit that a large amount is not and is often a cover for ‘jollies’ or even more dubious practices, as the hotels around Heathrow could confirm!
HS2 will mainly benefit London
As for the ridiculous vanity project that is HS2, our idiot politicians maintain it will ‘breathe life into the Norther Powerhouse’. No it won’t. It’ll just mean that high paid people who wish or need to work in London can live even further away.
Finally – remember ‘Climate Change’? Whilst motorists are constantly being penalised for driving thirsty cars, Heathrow jets are flying many thousands of miles on cheap aviation fuel and spewing out carbon dioxide and noxious gases at 30,000 feet. The aviation industry is the real polluter – not to mention the appalling noise jets make whilst doing it. And of course Heathrow expansion would mean turning the eastern end of the M4 and western section of the M25 into car parks.
Expand Broadband, not Heathrow
So, instead of expanding Heathrow and building HS2, let’s put in a really effective broadband network to cover the whole of the UK – far cheaper and not polluting at all.
Malcolm James Stretten