Burnham-On-Sea’s MP James Heappey has this week welcomed the approval of a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport, saying it will help to improve transport links in our area.

Approval was given in Parliament last Monday when the plans were approved by a huge majority of MPs.

Mr Heappey says he has been a keen supporter of a third runway at Heathrow, aligning himself with business groups across the South West who have also been campaigning for additional capacity at the airport.

Currently one million people travel from the South West to fly from Heathrow showing just how important the airport is to the region.

With plans for a new westward rail link now well advanced, the airport will soon be less than an hour from Bristol Parkway and under two hours from Highbridge and Burnham, Castle Cary and Weston-Super-Mare.

Mr Heappey, who is also the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, said that the expansion at Heathrow was a real boost for the West Country economy.

He explained: “Heathrow was always going to be the best option for the South West with its proximity to the M4, M3 and the Great Western mainline an obvious selling point for us. Expansion at Gatwick, Stansted or a new airport east of London would have been much less convenient and would deliver much less value to the Somerset economy.”

Asked about the impact of Heathrow expansion on Bristol Airport, Mr Heappey said that the two were not mutually exclusive and that the region needed both additional long haul capacity at Heathrow as well as a growing network from Bristol.

He has welcomed the recently released plans for expansion at the airport saying: “Bristol Airport is fast growing, increasingly well connected, has lots of local businesses in its supply chain and employs hundreds of my constituents too – I want to see the airport grow to meet the needs of our growing economy.”

“Whenever I can fly somewhere from Bristol, I do. But the reality is that the runway length the sheer economics of the aviation industry will mean that for most long-haul destinations we’ll need a growing Heathrow too.”