David Blackburn

A week to forget for Andrew Adonis

A week to forget for Andrew Adonis
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The weekend cannot come quick enough for Andrew Adonis. What an awful week. The BA strike wrecked travel; the absurd Stephen Byers dragged him into the lobbying scandal; the RMT voted in favour of Bob Crow’s surreal steam-era fantasy; and today comes the coup de grace: the High Court decides that the third Heathrow runway is ‘untenable’.

Transport is beginning to make Northern Ireland look like a soft brief, but Adonis hides his perturbation. He responded to this morning’s news by saying:

"I welcome this court ruling. Heathrow is Britain's principal hub airport. It is vital not only to the national economy but also enables millions of citizens to keep in touch with their friends and family and to take a well-deserved holiday.

"The airport is currently operating at full capacity. A new runway at Heathrow will help secure jobs and underpin economic growth as we come out of recession. It is also entirely compatible with our carbon reduction target, as demonstrated in the recent report by the Committee on Climate Change."

Really Lord Adonis? The High Court’s ruling may be overturned at a subsequent appeal but I suspect that the government’s policy has been blown out of the air. The carbon reduction targets are binding and if there a third runway is incompatible with those targets the project becomes, as the judge said, untenable.