The highly educated buffoon who inexplicably beat several X-Factor contestants to get a responsible job running one of the greatest cities in the world is still making a public fool of himself. Unaware of where the boundaries of London might actually be, he seems to believe that his personal authority extends to wherever the placenames are written in English, which goes some way towards explaining why he thinks he can build an island in the shipping lanes of the Thames.
Hugely controversial plans for a £40bn off-shore airport in the Thames estuary could still take off, the Mayor of London will say today. In a move likely to be greeted with dismay in Kent and Medway, Boris Johnson will raise the stakes in the long-running debate. He is expected to say the option must be considered if London and the south east is to meet the rising demand for more aviation capacity.
Mr Johnson, who risks being put on a collision course with not just council chiefs but his own government, will publish a report which makes the economic case for a new hub airport in the south east. The latest twist over in the saga of what has been dubbed Boris Island will come at a seminar at City Hall, the Mayor’s HQ. Mr Johnson will appear alongside Daniel Moylan, the deputy chairman of Transport for London to outline how best to meet the demand for more capacity – including an off-shore option in Kent.
The Mayor’s continuing support for the idea comes despite Prime Minister David Cameron all but ruling it out late last year. He said there were no plans for an airport in Kent, Medway or the Thames Estuary. Medway council moved swiftly to condemn today’s attempt to breathe new life into the much-criticised scheme. It also revealed Transport for London chiefs tried to persuade the authority to back the scheme by suggesting new roads and train lines were built in Essex. Council leader Rodney Chambers said:
“Rodney Chambers, the leader of Medway Council, said he was boycotting the event in protest. It is time the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, realises his pie in the sky Thames Estuary airport plan will never get off the ground. It has already been rejected by the government and the aviation industry – with nine out of ten air carriers saying they oppose the scheme.
Despite this, the mayor seems intent on carrying on regardless, wasting public money to try and get support for his project. This morning he is doing this again, holding a seminar to discuss the need for increased aviation capacity and a new hub airport for London and the south east. I was invited to this seminar, but decided not to go, although I have already informed Daniel Moylan, the deputy chair of Transport for London, of our view when he was dispatched to my office by the mayor to try and cut a deal over their airport plan.”
That deal involved a pledge that Kent would be spared the impact of new roads and other infrastructure by building it all in Essex, said Mr Chambers.
Click to see Boris’ press release.
kentonline.co.uk January 17 2011