The Liberal Democrats would not allow any new runways to be built in the south-east and will instead concentrate on improving Birmingham and Manchester airports, if they win the General Election.
The party, which released its election manifesto today (May 17), also said it would renationalise the Southern Rail and Govia Thameslink rail franchises, which have been locked in long-running industrial disputes over the last year.
On airports, the Liberal Democrats, who are led by Tim Farron, said they would develop a “strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK” which would take account of climate change and local pollution if the party wins the June 8 election.
“We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames estuary and will focus instead on improving existing regional airports such as Birmingham and Manchester,” said the party in its manifesto. “We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK. “
The party has also promised to hold a second EU referendum on the final Brexit deal, which will include an option for the UK to stay in the EU.
On rail, the Lib Dems say they will “ensure that new rail franchises include a stronger focus on customers, including a programme of investment in new stations, lines and modern trains”.
The party adds that it would establish government-run companies to take over the Southern Rail and Govia Thameslink franchises “as a result of severe failings that rise to the level of breach of contract”.
This policy would include “a long-term plan to find more effective and sustainable ways of managing these franchises involving greater powers for local government”.
The party said it would also proceed with HS2, HS3 and Crossrail 2 projects, which would include the extension of the high-speed rail network to Scotland.