Four Councils Unite To Back Gatwick Expansion

Joint letter promotes the benefits to south of London

The letter to the Evening Standard newspaper from the leaders of Wandsworth, Croydon , Kingston and Southwark councils reads:

For decades investment in south London’s transport network has lagged behind the rest of the capital. Public spending has gravitated towards established economic centres in the north and west where returns come relatively quickly. Recently the Olympics has also drawn focus to the east where the benefits of a comprehensive transport upgrade are now accumulating.

But those boroughs below the Thames remain, to some extent, overlooked. In the absence of a fully developed Tube network we rely heavily on rail and road systems which are now operating over capacity every working day. Our economy is inevitably constrained. Opportunities to force a change to our imbalanced transport investment cycle are few and far between.

Gatwick expansion is just such an opportunity. A high capacity, world-class airport due south of the capital would strengthen the entire south London region and decisions on future transport investment would be made on a more level playing field.

In places with direct connections to Gatwick, like London Bridge, Clapham Junction and Croydon, the economic impacts of an expanded airport would be immediate. Existing home building, regeneration and job creation projects would be energised. In the years to follow other part of south London would feel the warming affects as a fairer share of transport spending flows through the region. Untapped potential would be tapped and the result would be thousand of jobs and homes.

An expanded Gatwick is a once in a generation opportunity for south London and we have to take it.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council

Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council

Kevin Davis, leader of Kingston Council

Peter John, leader of Southwark Council

March 28, 2015