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  • Thames Valley businesses reject new estuary airport
    Airport Alastair McDermid Airports Commission Director at Gatwick Airport Frank Wingate Chief Executive of West London Business and Steve Lamb Chair of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership There was a lively debate on the future of airport capacity in the UK with each of the panel members summarising their arguments in five minute speeches before taking questions from the audience Alok Sharma said I was pleased to chair this important debate in Parliament on the future of airport capacity in the UK What was clear from this event is that the business community across the Thames Valley is unequivocally opposed to a new airport to the east of London that would lead to the eventual closure of Heathrow Airport Alok continued Given that current projections from the Department for Transport indicate that we will have reached capacity in the South East by around 2030 I would be happy to see both Heathrow and Gatwick airports expand However I very much hope that the Airports Commission will consider the views of Thames Valley businesses when it publishes it proposals next year and will not make any recommendations that would ultimately lead to the closure of Heathrow Steve Lamb Thames Valley Berkshire LEP Chairman said Heathrow is a critical economic driver of not just Thames Valley Berkshire but for the west of London economy overall This region generates 1 in every 10 of UK economic output An expanded Heathrow would offer an economic uplift of 3 4bn and create 35 000 new jobs for the area and improved connectivity and productivity benefits worth up to 300m a year by 2040 Steve Lamb continued A recent survey that we conducted as part of the Heathrow Economic Impact study stated that a third of business respondents within Thames Valley Berkshire said that Heathrow

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/723 (2016-02-14)
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  • Reading West MP welcomes revised expansion plans published by Heathrow
    and at least 100bn of UK economic benefits Heathrow has stated that the revised plan will mean 40 new direct daily routes to fast growing economies such as San José Wuhan and Kolkata Doubling cargo capacity to improve UK export competitiveness Rail capacity into Heathrow trebled from 5 000 to 15 000 seats per hour The third runway will be located further south meaning 12 000 fewer people will be affected by significant noise New section of M25 to be tunnelled and upgraded alongside the existing section increasing capacity and reducing congestion without disrupting road users Alok Sharma said The continued success of Heathrow is absolutely vital to the economic future of Reading and the wider Thames Valley area I welcome Heathrow s revised expansion plan which would provide more than 100 000 new jobs and add at least 100bn of economic benefits to the UK Alok continued The western wedge area around Heathrow already accounts for ten percent of UK economic activity so any decision that ultimately led to the downgrading of Heathrow would be bad for business bad for jobs and bad for investment Campaign Supporting Heathrow Tuesday May 13 2014 Alok Sharma MP Reading West The Reading

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/695 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma visits Heathrow to discuss airport expansion plans
    received contracts for external cladding glazed screens suspended ceilings and insulation Around 220 employees at Heathrow airport live in the Reading area During the visit Alok also heard about Heathrow s proposals for expansion and discussed the impact this would have for Reading businesses The plans could mean an additional 260 000 flights per year and would increase the number of routes available to India and China Heathrow currently operates at 98 capacity which means there is no room to serve the growing international demand for flight connections Heathrow is permitted 480 000 flights a year All four of Heathrow s competitor European hub airports Paris Frankfurt Madrid and Amsterdam have enough runway capacity to serve around 700 000 flights per year each There are growth market destinations with daily flights from other European hubs that are not served daily from the UK including destinations such as Manila Lima and Chongqing Alok Sharma said As a champion of local businesses looking to export I think Heathrow s proposals to expand do offer some exciting opportunities for future growth It is concerning that in recent years we have started to fall behind some of our European rivals in terms of direct connections to high growth economies such as India and China so I do think Heathrow s expansion is something local businesses would get behind which is why the Local Enterprise Partnership has been a key supporter of Heathrow Alok continued Heathrow is a vital economic asset which helps support many jobs across the Thames Valley Ten percent of the UK s economic output is generated in the western wedge area around Heathrow and so it is in everyone s interest to see the airport continue to thrive Reading would particularly benefit from Heathrow s plans especially following the recent announcements

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/682 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma calls for action on airport capacity | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    that people at Schiphol talk about their airport being Heathrow s third runway which says something Another sobering fact that I have found in considering the matter is that more flights leave Frankfurt for cities in China in a week than leave Heathrow for the whole world in a weekend That must tell us something Figures from the International Air Transport Association show that due to the lack of capacity at Heathrow between 2005 and 2011 there was a 49 growth in the number of passengers flying from UK regional airports to transfer at overseas hubs such as Schiphol and Charles de Gaulle That represents a loss of business and jobs to the UK that we should do everything we can to retain I note the Transport Committee s recommendation of a third runway at Heathrow and I commend it on the urgency of its deliberations It has come to a conclusion a lot faster than the Davies commission which will release its interim report at the end of this year There has been discussion of the costs which I am sure will continue but the proposed expansion of Heathrow would have much less of an impact on public expenditure and the Exchequer than a Thames estuary airport The other innovative proposal that I have found interesting to learn about is the Heathrow hub proposed by the Centre for Policy Studies It talks about doubling capacity from two to four runways and suggests that that can be done at no cost to the public purse Zac Goldsmith Is my hon Friend not slightly alarmed that that study takes no account at all of the extra impact of congestion Just a third runway would lead to an extra 25 million road passenger journeys a year and a fourth would presumably have more or less the same effect Can he explain how our roads would be able to handle 50 million extra road passenger journeys a year to and from Heathrow Does he share my concern that the costs simply do not exist in the report that he cited Alok Sharma Clearly that is exactly what the Davies commission should come up with I am not suggesting that the CPS s proposal is the only one in town I am just highlighting it as a particularly interesting one We have waited a long time for a conclusion so we might as well see what the Davies commission comes up with but the one thing I would find disturbing in any final recommendation would be a solution that ultimately led to the closure of Heathrow That would be bad news for business and jobs I do not agree with the right hon Member for Tottenham Mr Lammy who is no longer in his place about everything but I do agree with his points about the impact that it would have not just in London but in the western wedge which covers areas such as the Thames valley and Reading which I represent As

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-calls-action-airport-capacity (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma calls for boost in airport capacity in the south east
    Airport Commission when it publishes its final report in summer 2015 whatever those recommendations might be Making the case for an expansion in airport capacity Alok explained that the lack of certainty is bad for business and investment and that other European rivals such as Frankfurt Schiphol and Charles de Gaulle are all getting ahead in the global race that we want to win Pointing out the severity of the situation with regards to the lack of available capacity Alok pointed out that more flights leave Frankfurt for cities in China in a week than leave Heathrow for the whole world in a weekend That must tell us something Alok encouraged the Airport Commission to consider all the options and to not shy away from imaginative ideas such as the proposals by the Centre for Policy Studies which talks about doubling capacity from two to four runways and suggests that that can be done at no cost to the public purse However Alok did make clear his support for keeping Heathrow open He said the one thing I would find disturbing in any final recommendation would be a solution that ultimately led to the closure of Heathrow That would be bad news for business and jobs Highlighting the economic benefits that Heathrow Airport brings to the region Alok referenced figures from an economic impact report commissioned by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership stating 1 in every 10 of UK economic output is generated in the western wedge area around Heathrow and aviation and related activity at Heathrow supports about 120 000 jobs there In addition to those 120 000 jobs that directly rely on Heathrow Airport Alok also pointed to evidence that suggests that the closure of Heathrow would put at risk another 170 000 jobs in the

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/595 (2016-02-14)
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  • Supporting Heathrow Airport: In the Press
    Property Forum looks at future of business development Thames Valley business leaders reject Boris Island airport plan Reading West MP welcomed revised Heathrow Airport expansion plans Alok Sharma MP Reading West The Reading West constituency embraces parts of two local unitary authorities Reading Borough and West Berkshire Reading Battle Kentwood Minster Norcot Southcote Tilehurst and Whitley West Berkshire Birch Copse Calcot Pangbourne Purley Theale and Westwood Copyright 2016 All rights

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/875 (2016-02-14)
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  • First Great Western
    crowding in Standard Class first leading a Parliamentary debate on overcrowding in March 2012 Since then he has continued to lobby FGW and the Department for Transport for extra Standard Class seats and also launched a petition last year signed by hundreds of local commuters supporting his campaign for more Standard Class seats As a result of campaigning from Alok and FGW s commitment to reduce the number of First Class carriages on its High Speed Trains there are already an extra 3 000 extra Standard Class seats in service today and all High Speed Trains running through Reading to Paddington have just 1 5 First Class carriages Following FGW reducing the number of First Class carriages on its High Speed Trains Alok asked for further action to be taken to declassify First Class seating on all turbo trains in a meeting he organised in January 2015 with FGW Managing Director Mark Hopwood and Rail Minister Claire Perry Alok Sharma said Having campaigned for a number of years for more Standard Class seats for Reading commuters especially through declassification of under utilised First Class seating I am absolutely delighted that FGW have taken on board my latest suggestion made at a meeting with FGW and the Transport Minister in January to remove First Class entirely from local stopping trains I know that many of my commuting constituents will welcome these extra Standard Class seats during peak time Alok continued I believe Reading would benefit from a dedicated commuter service to Paddington and I will be making that case to FGW and the Department for Transport especially in respect of any future franchise negotiations Mark Hopwood Managing Director of First Great Western said We know that ultimately the only long term solution to busy services is more trains New Intercity Express

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/954 (2016-02-14)
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  • Victory for MP’s campaign to increase standard class seating
    mixture of First Class and Standard seating Previously these carriages consisted only of First Class seating The conversion of these composite carriages is the final step in converting First Class carriages on the way to providing 3 000 extra standard class seats amounting to a 16 increase in capacity 2 500 of the 3 000 extra seats being delivered are now in service The first composite carriage which Alok and Mark Hopwood launched this morning will be available for use from this evening the second will be available over the weekend and the third by the middle of next week The conversion work on all 18 First Class carriages to turn them into composite carriages will be complete by late Spring 2015 and will mean that all High Speed Trains running through Reading to Paddington will have just 1 5 First Class carriages Alok also welcomed the news that work to install WiFi on FGW s High Speed Trains is almost complete and will be available free of charge to passengers in both First and Standard Class soon Alok Sharma said Following my petition and meeting with the Rail Minister and FGW in January I am delighted that FGW has started delivering these composite carriages within weeks rather than months of our meeting and this move will be very much welcomed by my commuting constituents I want to thank the many hundreds of people who signed my petition on overcrowding for giving this campaign momentum Alok continued For me increasing the number of Standard Class seats is still a work in progress and today again I raised my suggestion with FGW of further increasing Standard Class capacity by getting rid of First Class completely on local stopping services I understand FGW are considering this suggestion and I will continue to

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/819 (2016-02-14)
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