Release Date: 13/07/2012
A group of local authorities which won a 2010 High Court challenge to overturn the previous government’s Heathrow policy say the evidence against a third runway is as strong today as it was two years ago.
Council leaders from the all-party 2M Group, which opposes Heathrow expansion, said today that nothing had changed in the last two years which would make a third runway or the imposition of mixed mode operations any less damaging to noise, air quality and traffic congestion in south and west London.
The Government said yesterday in it's draft Aviation Policy Framework, that it's opposition to a third runway continued to be determined, to a large extent, by concerns about noise impacts at the airport. The Government restated it's decision to cancel plans for a third runway, saying that it would be inviting evidence later this year on maintaining the UK’s international connectivity. It said it wanted stakeholders to consider the ‘big picture’ before putting forward any proposals for new capacity.
Leader of Richmond Council, Lord True said:
“Heathrow expansion is a huge quality of life issue in west London. We will resist any measure that might result in either a lifting of the current movements cap or relaxation of the night flying restrictions.”
Wandsworth leader, Ravi Govindia added:
“The Coalition Government continues to rule out a third runway for very good reasons. It has done so again today. The noise will get worse on both sides of the airport, air pollution will continue to breach EU levels and the tubes and trains just won’t be able to cope. No amount of lobbying by BAA can change these facts. Expansion at Heathrow was a non starter in 2010 and is a non starter in 2012.”
The 2M Group is an all-party alliance of 23 local authorities concerned by the environmental impact of Heathrow expansion on their communities. The group, which took it's name from the 2 million residents of the original 12 authorities, now represents a combined population of 5 million people.