Windsor MP welcomes parliamentary report on airport expansion
Today, the Windsor MP has welcomed the findings of a key parliamentary committee on airport expansion.
The report raised serious concerns about the ability of Heathrow to stick to legally binding emissions and air quality targets.
The report concluded that the third runway should not go ahead at Heathrow unless the Government could demonstrate how it could fit into the UK’s environmental targets and obligations.
Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, commented:
“This report is yet another nail in the coffin for the case for Heathrow expansion.
“A third runway at Heathrow is a sticking plaster that goes against the growing body of scientific evidence that Gatwick is the more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective option for a new runway.
“I’m delighted that the report recommends a ban on night flights if a third runway is built, but this just further proves that Heathrow is in the wrong place. To get the most out of a new runway we should be building it where it can be operational for as many hours a day as possible. This is simply not possible at Heathrow, which already inflicts substantial noise on sixty eight times more people than Gatwick.
“The Government has a clear obligation to answer the serious concerns about Heathrow’s case for expansion. I will continue to raise this regularly with Ministers.
“With threats of legal action, it would be unwise for the government to give Heathrow the green light without a proper strategy.”
Heathrow is the wrong solution to the problem of airport undercapacity. It is already Europe’s noisiest and worst polluting airport. The idea that expansion would alleviate this is ludicrous.
Blow to Heathrow as Government rules out funding surface access costs
Today, the Government announced that public money would not be used for the related costs of airport expansion.
This is a huge blow to Heathrow whose so-called access costs were more than five times those of Gatwick’s proposal.
The surface access costs for Heathrow expansion are estimated at £5 billion by the Airports Commission, although Transport for London had put the predicted figure at £15-20 billion.
In response to a parliamentary question tabled by Conservative MP and prominent Third Runway opponent Adam Afriyie, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:
“In terms of surface access proposals, the Government has been clear that it expects the scheme promoter to meet the costs of any surface access proposals that are required as a direct result of airport expansion and from which they will directly benefit.”
Mr Afriyie commented on this announcement, saying:
“It is welcome news that the Government has ruled out funding the costs of rail upgrades, moving the M25 and lengthy upgrades to nearby roads.
“The public should not be made to fork out up to 20 billion pounds’ worth of subsidies to a private company. It is disappointing that Heathrow and its shareholders are still refusing to consider paying for these costs.
“Heathrow’s proposals already fail on air quality targets, will impose noise pollution on far more people than any other airport in Europe and will not enable the UK to compete in the long term.
“Heathrow’s Third Runway is a sticking plaster to the UK’s aviation challenge. We need a strategic, long-term solution that will keep us at the forefront of world trade for decades to come.”
Notes to Editors
- TfL’s responses on the costs and other consequences of Heathrow expansion can be found here: http://www.heathrowappg.com/tfl-response-to-appg-on-surface-access/
- Adam Afriyie is a long-standing opponent of Heathrow expansion. Details of his work can be found here: http://adamafriyie.org/index.php/heathrow/#.Vh49OflVhBc
Thousands of protestors attend rally against Heathrow expansion
Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor and long-time opponent of Heathrow expansion, joined thousands of protestors at a rally to speak out against proposals for a Third Runway at Heathrow.
Other speakers included the shadow Chancellor, John Mcdonnell, and the Conservative candidate for London Mayor, Zac Goldsmith.
The Government is due to lay out its position on airport expansion by the end of the year.
Mr Afriyie commented:
“Thousands of people turned out to show how strongly they opposed Heathrow’s Third Runway.
“Heathrow is the worst noise polluter in Europe by far, and its Third Runway will only make things worse. It will also impose road congestion, harmful air pollution and significant costs on the local area.
“This would barely be tolerable if the airport would revolutionise aviation in the UK. Heathrow’s main competitor [Schiphol airport] in Amsterdam has six runways, and Istanbul New Airport will have the same. The idea that a three runway airport with no potential for further growth is any kind of a solution to persistent under-capacity, is frankly ludicrous.
“What’s good for Heathrow’s shareholders and bosses is not what is good for the country as a whole. The Government should rule out this undeliverable plan for expansion once and for all.”
Notes to Editors:
- Mr Afriyie is a longstanding opponent of Heathrow expansion. Details of his activities can be found here: http://adamafriyie.org/index.php/heathrow/#.VhulDPlVhBc
- The Bow Group published a research paper written by Mr Afriyie. It can be found here: http://adamafriyie.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Bow-Group-Britain-needs-an-offshore-airport-Adam-Afriyie-MP.pdf
- The Coalition Against the Third Runway, of which Mr Afriyie is a founding member, has its website here: http://no3rdrunway.co.uk/
Heathrow caught out for “misleading” advertising
The Advertising Standards Agency has upheld a complaint over misleading adverts by Heathrow Airport, which ran with the slogan “those around us, are behind us.”
The reliability of the polls, commissioned by the airport itself, have also come under question as other polls have suggested that most residents oppose the Third Runway.
In an IPSOS Mori poll of residents of Windsor and Maidenhead, released in January, 55% of those who expressed an opinion said they were opposed to a new runway at Heathrow. Only 20% of residents were strongly in favour of the Third Runway, compared to 38% who were strongly opposed.
Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, commented:
“Heathrow is a business like any other and wants to make the best profits it can for itself and its consortium of international shareholders.
“But these false adverts only underline the weakness of the arguments for expansion. In Windsor and Maidenhead, far more residents oppose than support Heathrow’s Third Runway. I hope this behaviour is not a sign of things to come as Heathrow seeks to solidify its near-monopolistic position.
“Its damaging pollution, noise impact and astronomical costs to the public are all huge black marks against Heathrow’s proposals.
“Heathrow is a sticking plaster solution to a decades-old problem. The Government should be under no illusions about the strongly-held opposition to the undeliverable plan for a Third Runway.”
Notes to Editors:
- The IPSOS MORI poll of Windsor and Maidenhead residents can be found here: https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3515/Royal-Borough-of-Windsor-and-Maidenhead-Aviation-Survey.aspx
- A link to the full story can be found here: http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/news/1364160/misleading-heathrow-adverts-banned-suggesting-locals-support-expansion/
- The Coalition Against Heathrow Expansion, of which Adam Afriyie is a founding member have their website here: http://no3rdrunway.co.uk/
Adam Afriyie MP backs new group to fight Heathrow Third Runway
Windsor’s campaigning MP, Adam Afriyie, is a key signatory to the Coalition Against Heathrow Expansion, a new group set up to fight against Heathrow’s plans for a third runway.
The group includes MPs, Councils and major global campaign organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
There will be a mass rally in Central London on October 10th for opponents of the third runway.
Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor commented:
“I am proud to be a founding member of the Coalition Against Heathrow Expansion. The Government must be under no illusions about the huge opposition to Heathrow’s Third Runway when it makes a decision in the next few months.
“Following my discussion with the RBWM Council I am delighted that they have agreed to contribute £25,000 towards the costs of the campaign. They continue to work wholeheartedly in the interests of residents in line with their manifesto commitments.
“Heathrow has already lost the argument for its third runway. Air pollution is already in breach of legal limits. A new runway will cost the taxpayer billions, cause years of disruption to commuters and local families and inflict intolerable noise on hundreds of thousands more people and, all the while, its growth will come at the expense of other airports and serve to entrench its market dominance.
“The only beneficiaries of this ill-thought through plan are Heathrow Airport Ltd and its shareholders. It is time for the Government to rule out this undeliverable project once and for all.”
Notes to Editors
- Adam Afriyie has campaigned against Heathrow expansion since 2003. Details of his activity against a third runway can be found here: http://adamafriyie.org/index.php/heathrow/#.VecpkCVVhHw
- The website for the new campaign can be found here: http://no3rdrunway.co.uk/
- The rally against the Third Runway will be taking place in central London, on the 10th of October. To keep posted, sign up to Adam’s mailing list here: http://adamafriyie.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe/post?u=2ee6631807692ad9d3e9ec90f&id=ee183a1d72