Candidate for Windsor
Working Hard For You
Windsor MP welcomes Government pause for thought

The Windsor MP welcomes the Government for delaying its decision on airport expansion.

The Government has said that it will wait to hear more evidence before choosing which airport will be given permission to build a new runway but that at the moment it is leaning towards expanding Heathrow.

Adam has been a long-term opponent of Heathrow expansion and has run a campaign against a third runway since he first became an MP in 2005.

Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, commented:             

“I very much welcome the Government’s decision not to authorise a third runway at Heathrow given the cost to the taxpayer, the pollution and carbon emissions and the fact that 68 times more people are affected by expansion at Heathrow compared to a second runway at Gatwick

“If we are going to limit our ambitions to a single new runway in the South East then the Government would do well to rule out Heathrow expansion today and allow Gatwick to proceed. This would cost the taxpayer nothing and it can be built straight away without the risk of legal holdups.

“Gatwick is clearly the better of the two available short-term options environmentally, economically and politically

“Despite concerns over delay, it is better to make the right decision than an early decision.  This pause for thought will give the Government to reflect on the titanic body of evidence against Heathrow expansion, which is not in the national nor local economic interest and would entrench the existing market dominance of Heathrow Airports Ltd when Gatwick would deliver a cleaner environment, lower cost flights and blight far fewer people with noise

ENDS

Notes to editors: 

  1. Adam has been fighting against the third runway since he was first selected as the Conservative candidate for the Windsor constituency. Find details of his activity here;

 

Heathrow’s Achilles Heel

The recent decision on airport expansion is deeply disappointing. Yet in some ways it’s understandable given the groupthink surrounding a third runway to which the Airport Expansion sub-committee has been subjected.

We need new airport capacity and we need it fast. But it needs to be introduced in the most cost-effective and least environmentally damaging way possible.

Bracknell News Column: Wednesday, 5 October 2016

We are getting closer and closer to a decision on airport expansion.

The argument against expansion at Heathrow, when there are so many preferable alternatives, has been made time and time again. As someone who has campaigned against Heathrow for more than a decade, I can’t even count the number of debates I have spoken at, petitions I have signed and local community groups that I have visited. Now, more than ever, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. That is why I have decided to support an Early Day Motion (EDM) proposed by my colleague Zac Goldsmith; someone who has likewise campaigned against expansion at Heathrow for many years.

Adam’s Parliamentary Questions reveal Heathrow plans

I have been fighting non-stop against the calamitous proposals for a third runway, and the steady rise in aircraft noise from our neighbour Heathrow Airport Ltd, since I became an MP in 2005.

Over the past 11 years we’ve won some big battles. Ruling out expansion in 2010. Forcing restrictions on night flights. Bringing an end to invasive flight path trials. And so on.

The Government is expected to reach a final decision on airport expansion later this year and, while aircraft noise remains a real issue for all of us, this is the most important fight of all.

The colossal weight of evidence against Heathrow has been presented again and again.

Heathrow will not bring value for money, will not meet legally-binding environmental targets and will not cater to our long-term aviation capacity needs, and is thus not in our national interest.

Opposing Heathrow is not NIMBYism, it is a decision that will have a national impact.

In response to a recent Parliamentary Question I asked (44201) the Government confirmed that they will consider overall plans to improve air quality and its legal commitments before making a decision.

Given that Heathrow is already in breach of its legal commitments with two runways, the idea that it can reduce NO2 emissions in the local area whilst expanding its air capacity by 50% is clearly a nonsense.

If releasing the additional capacity from an additional runway is made dependent on meeting binding, real world air quality milestones, then we may soon find that an expansion at Heathrow won’t release any new capacity at all.

This alone means that expanding Heathrow would be questionable if it was the only choice. Combined with the fact that there are many clearly more cost-effective alternatives that are less damaging to local communities, it ought to be bottom of our list.

You have my commitment that I will continue to fight tooth and nail for the best deal for my constituents regardless of what decision is taken.

I am delighted that, in response to a further Parliamentary Question (44199), the Government has confirmed that they are considering a strong package of measures to mitigate the impact of runway expansion on communities.

This builds on a recommendation by the Environmental Audit Committee last year that, regardless of whether a third runaway is granted to them, a Community Engagement Board must be created to restore trust between Heathrow and the local communities that it blights.

Whilst it will come to a relief to residents that the Government is considering how to help  local communities deal with the costs of runway expansion – and the effects of noise pollution – this yet again demonstrates how cost ineffective expanding Heathrow is compared to Gatwick.

Heathrow’s noise pollution already affects 7 times more people than any other UK airport. Expanding Heathrow will affect 837,000 more people, expanding Gatwick will affect 37,000. Heathrow is permanently stymied by its archaic location from a time before mass air travel.

With our withdrawal from the EU it is more important now than ever before to demonstrate that Britain is open for business and increasing our long term air capacity must be integral to that aim. But it is more important to make the right decision that to make a hasty one.

I would urge the Government to make the right choice and back expansion at Gatwick.