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Logistics Industry Hails Heathrow Announcement

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The government's decision to proceed with the much-delayed third runway at Heathrow has earned the plaudits of logistics industry representatives.

It was announced earlier this week that the government had formally endorsed the proposal - despite splits in Theresa May's cabinet itself - to develop the third runway. The government says that the project will deliver economic benefits of as much as £61bn, creating some 77,000 jobs in the local area around Heathrow.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) was among those to welcome the announcement, stating that the expansion of Heathrow was likely to be crucial to Britain's economic prospects once it leaves the European Union.

"This is excellent news for the freight and logistics industry and the country," said Chris Welsh, director of global and European policy at the FTA. "This decision is even more vital in a post-Brexit world where Britain’s capability to expand its trade and ability to compete in markets outside Europe is heavily dependent on connectivity to emerging markets."

Also welcoming the decision was the Confederation of British Industry, which said it would come as "an enormous relief to firms in every corner of the country".

The scheme remains highly controversial, however. It was initially approved by the then-government in 2009, before a High Court challenge put it on ice the following year. At the time, campaigners successfully argued that the project would contravene carbon emissions targets.

However, it was reported earlier this month that a study carried out by researchers from institutions including Cambridge University had found that this was no longer the case. The study estimated that increased pollution from air traffic at Heathrow would be offset to a large extent by decreased road pollution in the surrounding area.

The researchers predicted that the advent of more efficient engines and the increasing electrification of the road fleet would significantly reduce carbon emissions from vehicular traffic.

Airlines themselves have made various efforts to cut carbon emissions in recent years. Last year, Virgin Atlantic adopted Teletrac Navman telematics technology as part of a bid to reduce its carbon footprint. Earlier in the week we wrote about how telematics is changing the way businesses manage CO2 emissions in our blog titled How telematics is re-shaping fleet management, give it read to learn more.  


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