Boris Johnson has spent £1.4 million promoting the idea of a Thames Estuary airport.
Figures released by Transport for London reveal the London Mayor’s huge financial commitment to pushing a project which would irrevocably change the Towns.
Since 2010 a total of £1,435,682 has been spent by TfL. The bulk of the cash, around £1.2 million, has gone to paying consultancy fees.
London Mayor Boris Johnson
This has been given to companies which have carried out work looking at issues such as the environmental impacts of an airport and the infrastructure that would need to be built.
In May 2011, £200,000 was set aside to consider the options for expanding the country’s aviation capacity.
A further £3 million has been budgeted up until April 2014, of which there is around £1.7 million remaining. This means the total spending could rise to £3 million.
Boris’s bill easily dwarfs the resources of the anti-airport campaign.
Medway Council budgeted £50,000 in 2012 to fight against the airport, although it is not clear how much of this was spent.
In the current financial year, £15,000 was spent on hiring College Public Policy, a consultancy group, to help with their submission to the government’s Airports Commission.
The revelations come ahead of an interim report by the commission due in December.
This will include a short-list of the best options for expanding the country’s aviation capacity. A full report with final recommendations is due after the 2015 election.
Mr Johnson backs building the world’s biggest airport at Grain. This would have four runways and operate 24 hours a day.
“Boris has been throwing away public money on his flight of fancy and it needs to stop" - Mark Reckless MP
Other options put forward by the capital’s mayor are building an airport in the Thames Estuary itself, or expanding Stansted Airport in Essex.
Cliffe has also been proposed as a site by former Cathay Pacific executive John Olsen.
MP for Rochester and Strood Mark Reckless, who had a meeting with the commission’s head Sir Howard Davies this week, said: "Boris has been throwing away public money on his flight of fancy and it needs to stop."
He pointed out that despite the expenditure, the Mayor had managed to get his figures wrong in his submission to the commission.
The cost to the government of building an airport at Grain is calculated at £25 billion, when in fact the figures listed add up to £39 billion.
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