Daily Archives: January 14, 2009

Jim Pickard

We predicted last Friday that Geoff Hoon was about to give the go-ahead for the third runway at Heathrow despite fears about its environmental impact.

I’m told that the transport secretary will tell the House of Commons tomorrow (Thursday) that the government does back the project. The announcement will be dressed up with other transport schemes – supposedly of a green nature – including a rail link from Heathrow to St Pancras and more “hard shoulder running*” schemes to alleviate congestion on some motorways. Read more

Jim Pickard

Norman Lamont was ridiculed as Chancellor during the last recession not only because he sang in the bath as Britain exited the ERM but also because he spotted the “green shoots” of recovery far too early.

Shriti Vadera, Berr minister, has just made the same clanger. Baroness Vadera told ITV News today: Read more

Jim Pickard

It’s all very well for the prime minister to promise a new wave of infrastructure projects (by some front-loading of existing budgets) to help stimulate the economy. The pledge has generated plenty of positive headlines.

Ministers haven’t yet explained how this will happen, however, in the face of a struggling market for private finance initiative schemes. PFI has played an increasingly large role in big projects in recent years. Read more