34 councils urge Government to back third runway at Heathrow

A number of councils have urged the Government to back the building of a third runway at Heathrow to support job creation and economic growth.

The leaders of 34 local authorities from around Britain signed a letter to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin stressing that it is "now time to make a bold decision" and expand the west London airport.

They wrote that investment in infrastructure is "even more important" during uncertain economic times and the UK should build on the success of the aviation industry by "future proofing it".

Councils such as Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Aberdeen and Neath Port Talbot were among those that signed the letter.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: "Councils from across the country recognise expansion at Heathrow will benefit their local economies by creating skilled jobs and connecting exporters to growing markets overseas.

"Their support is further evidence that the next prime minister has the opportunity to make the right choice in the whole of Britain's interest by expanding Heathrow."

It was confirmed last week that the decision on whether to back expansion projects at Heathrow or Gatwick has been deferred until at least October following the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron in the wake of the EU referendum result.

The Davies Commission recommended the building of a third runway at Heathrow in July last year.

But in December the Department for Transport announced that further investigation into noise, pollution and compensation would be carried out before a decision is made.

Gatwick's chief executive Stewart Wingate claims the West Sussex airport is the only one offering a plan that can "deliver the expansion we need and do so by 2025".