Candidate for Windsor
Working Hard For You
Windsor MP co-sponsors Ten Minute Rule Bill on aircraft noise

On Tuesday this week Windsor’s MP, Adam Afriyie, co-sponsored a Bill in Parliament highlighting the issue of aircraft noise.

Adam Afriyie, who has campaigned against a 3rd Runway at Heathrow since he became MP for Windsor 11 years ago, was one of 11 MPs co-sponsoring a Ten Minute Rule Bill brought forward by Dr Tania Mathias MP calling on the Government to amend the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The proposed bill will reclassify noise from aircraft as a ‘statutory nuisance’ giving those under the flightpaths a formal means of redress. It was passed and will receive its Second Reading on 20th January 2017.

The Conservative MP said: “I was proud to co-sponsor this Bill today. Noise pollution from aircraft is a blight on many local communities, especially in Windsor, and has been ignored for too long.

“With a decision on airport expansion due within the next year it is more important than ever to give due consideration to the effect of aircraft noise on health.”

Heathrow Airport’s noise footprint currently affects 725,500 people, more than any other airport in Europe. Despite this, the noise pollution affecting those people is not recorded as a ‘statutory nuisance’.

This Ten Minute Rule Bill would correct the anomaly whereby other forms of transport such as a motorway or a high speed rail link, are counted as a ‘statutory nuisance’ but aircraft noise is not.

Whilst acknowledging that airport expansion is important for the entire national economy Mr Afriyie said that Heathrow was ‘simply in the wrong place.’

“Whilst we need a new runway in the south east, Heathrow’s proximity to London means that expansion there will affect more than 20 times as many people than an additional runway at Gatwick.

“I hope that the Government will look at the evidence that we can achieve similar connectivity with an additional runway at Gatwick with a far smaller fiscal and environmental cost and come to a fast and firm decision to back expansion at Gatwick.”

The British airport with the second largest footprint, Manchester, affects 94,000. 28% of all people affected by aircraft noise across Europe live under the Heathrow flight paths.

 

ENDS

Note to editors

  1. Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.
  2. He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
  3. He is currently Chairman of the Fintech APPG, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
  4. He was shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.
  5. Adam Afriyie has campaigned against a 3rd Runway at Heathrow since he became an MP in 2005 and has written at length on Heathrow. To see his full record please see here.
  6. A transcript of the speech by Dr Tania Mathias MP can be found here.
MP for Windsor praises the actions of residents and activists

Following a public meeting on Monday with over 1,000 constituents and representatives from Heathrow Airports Ltd, Adam Afriyie the MP for Windsor has called the early end to flight trials a “triumph of people power.”

Heathrow Airports Ltd has already agreed to end its trials early in November. At the meeting, Mark Swan of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) raised the possibility of bringing the trials to an even earlier end. He also committed Heathrow to releasing all their data openly on their website so that residents would know the outcome of the trials.

Adam Afriyie commented:

“In our decade-long fight against aircraft noise increasing and spreading wider and further afield from Heathrow, this is another victory for active councillors and residents

“We are used to hearing aircraft noise when we live in houses under the existing flight paths, like my own home in Old Windsor, but it is completely unacceptable to have sudden changes that increase noise disturbance without proper consultation and warning. It’s all too easy to remain silent when confronted with new threats but it is the active reporting of noise disturbance, petition signing and letter writing that has got the message through to Heathrow: enough is enough

“I’m also glad to see the CAA are taking the views of residents seriously and are keen for Heathrow to truncate the trials further if possible, publish the trial results and be open with local communities

“Others wanted to join our local meeting and special thanks goes to my colleague Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell, who is keen that the voices of his constituents are also heard in the debate

“It is ultimately people pressure from an alliance of local councillors, residents, and MPs that has tipped the balance and this bodes well for future campaigning

“The thank you list is endless but my special thanks goes to Councillors David Hilton for coordinating and leading the charge in Ascot, John Story for his work on the Council and to George Bathurst for his excellent presentation on the night. If you see your local councillor then please thank them for what they’ve been doing to defend their residents.

“Aircraft noise affects almost every area of our constituency including my own area in Old Windsor, and we must not forget that the flight path trials have had a disturbing affect across the whole constituency, from Colnbrook, Datchet and Wraysbury right across to Warfield and Binfield and everywhere else in between.

Together with local residents from all areas of the constituency, we must remain united to continue the decade-long fight against extra noise from Heathrow, our welcome but noisy neighbour.”

Contact:

Notes to Editors:

  1. Mr Afriyie’s website: http://www.adamafriyie.org/

 

Adam Afriyie MP commends Windsor constituents for their victory in fighting aircraft noise

Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, last night attended a public meeting in Ascot with well over 1,000 people from the local area as well as representatives of Heathrow.

Recently, Heathrow agreed to bring flight path trials to an early end following sustained pressure from local authorities and communities.

During the meeting, Adam Afriyie said how proud he was to represent such proactive and passionate constituents.

After the meeting, Mr Afriyie said:

“The recent flight trials have rightly provoked serious frustration among those of us in the Windsor constituency. Residents made these views patently clear to Heathrow representatives in the meeting. There was not sufficient warning and this is unacceptable.

“The current flight trials are now due to end well ahead of schedule, in November. This is a big win for those of us in Windsor, Warfield, Binfield, Ascot, Sunninghill, Sunningdale and across the constituency.

“The Civil Aviation Authority, who regulate Heathrow, also asked the airport to consider ending trials even earlier and release all their data to the public as soon as possible.

“Along with many others, I have been fighting airplane noise from Heathrow for over 10 years and will continue to do so with the backing of local residents. This is another victory in that fight.

“I’d like to thank the Councils at Bracknell Forest and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Special thanks must go to Councillor David Hilton who organised the meeting last night. Support from the local authorities has been invaluable.

“I want Heathrow to flourish in its current form, but it needs to be considerate of the local environment and the people who live there. I hope that future decisions about Heathrow are only taken after extensive consultation with the communities affected. I will fight tooth and nail to reduce intrusive flight noise in the local area.

Contact:

Notes to Editors:

  1. Mr Afriyie’s previous statement about the Heathrow flightpath trials: http://adamafriyie.org/index.php/2014/10/06/windsor-mp-welcomes-the-early-end-to-the-heathrow-flight-paths-and-other-parts-of-the-constituency
  2. Mr Afriyie’s website: http://www.adamafriyie.org/

 

Adam Afriyie welcomes RBWM’s unanimous vote to oppose Heathrow expansion

Adam Afriyie today welcomed the Council’s decision to oppose further Heathrow expansion, supporting Gatwick as the best short-term solution to flight capacity issues.

Adam Afriyie also restated his serious concern about the Heathrow flightpath trials currently taking place over the constituency.

Mr. Afriyie confirmed that he was in the process of writing directly to the Secretary of State, and urged Heathrow to find a solution acceptable to the local community.

Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor, said:

“It is patently clear that thousands of people are being disturbed by the flightpath trials currently taking place across Windsor, Ascot and elsewhere. Residents feel they have not been given sufficient warning and are angry that Heathrow has started these trials without proper consultation. My concern is that this could be a sign of things to come for those affected if the third runway goes ahead.

“As a resident of Old Windsor and having campaigned against aircraft noise and increasing flight numbers for more than a decade, I know just how frustrating aircraft noise can be, especially at night and in the early morning hours. We must not forget that people are part of the environment too.

“As MP for the area, I will continue to express the concerns of the hundreds of residents who have written to me at the highest levels of Government. In particular I will be raising the issue directly with the Transport Secretary to stress the concerns of my constituents.

“I will continue to work with local councillors to urge Heathrow Airport Ltd to find a solution that is acceptable to the local community. I trust that residents will raise their concerns with Heathrow at the public meeting, organised by the Council on the 13th of October at 7pm at Ascot Racecourse.”

Contact:

Notes to Editors:

  1. Mr Afriyie’s previous statement about the Heathrow flightpath trials: http://adamafriyie.org/index.php/2014/09/08/adam-afriyie-expresses-concern-with-new-flight-path-trials/
  2. Mr Afriyie’s website: http://www.adamafriyie.org/

 

My contribution to the debate on Heathrow Airport Expansion

I am pleased to open this debate because I want to keep this issue live. I have made the case before on a logical and rational economic basis. I have made the argument about noise on behalf of my constituents in Horton, Wraysbury, Old Windsor and Datchet. I have set out a case based on changing circumstances and made the observation that some of the information in the 2003 White Paper is 10 years old. A lot has changed over those 10 years. Any reasonable Government—indeed, any reasonable person—would look at the new evidence and at least question the decisions they made in the previous circumstances.

I also want to give the new Minister an opportunity to reconsider. Once he hears the various comments and observations from hon. Members, I hope that he will give just a spark of light to show that the Government are not rock solid in their decisions. He has the opportunity to indicate that there is some chance that they might begin to see reason, especially as he is fairly new to the role.

I want this debate to be an opportunity for other hon. Members to speak. There is much strong feeling and logic behind the opposition to the third runway, so I will not hog the entire hour that I am allowed. I will keep my comments as close to 20 minutes as I can. If it is okay with you, Mr. Taylor, I invite hon. Members to intervene whenever they wish.

As I said, those of us who are opposed to the third runway are often caricatured as being against any form of economic development and in favour of closing Heathrow airport and undermining it. That is not the case. As an Old Windsor resident, I know that it is infuriating to have noisy aircraft going overhead at 4.30 in the morning. Many hon. Members will appreciate that. The airport may be a noisy neighbour, but it is a neighbour nevertheless. Heathrow serves more than 180 destinations around the world and 70,000 jobs are dependent on it, directly or indirectly. There is no truth in the argument that those of us who oppose the third runway wish to see the airport closed.

***

On quality of life, I refer to an observation that I made about four years ago in a civil aviation debate and in one or two other debates. Often, it is not the average noise made across a noise-quota period that causes disturbance, but the noise of an individual aircraft that wakes someone during the night and ruins their quality of life for the following day. Something else needs to be looked at here: it is not only aircraft movements that one needs to take into account, but the reality on the ground. The simple testing of noise in aircraft hangars and the theoretical testing of aircraft engine noise is not enough. I urge the Minister to attempt to address that point.

Anyone who travels up and down the M4 will know that it is constantly congested, even in the current economic downturn. Similarly, anyone who drives around the M25 will know that, even with six lanes in places, it is still constantly congested. Clearly, there is a problem with road access to Heathrow, and that has not been addressed in the Government’s case so far.

***

On noise, there has been a lot of noise from the campaign against the third runway, and a lot of noise from the Government arguing a case that seems untenable. As the shadow Minister for Science and Innovation, it seems to me that one must base one’s judgments on evidence and studies as far as one can, where such evidence is available. The Government commissioned the ANASE—”Attitudes to Noise from Aviation Sources in England”—study, which, even though the data range was, to a certain degree, fixed to include noisier aircraft from the past, concluded that people are more irritated by noise than they ever were. What did the Government do? They simply said that the study was marginally flawed and that they were not going to pay much attention to it. That is not the behaviour of a Government who want to engage in rational and reasonable debate to find a solution to the challenges.