Conservatives firm up opposition to Heathrow expansion as 6 trade unions come out against 3rd runway
working on the proposed third runway at Heathrow to be "very, very careful" about
signing contracts. She has said the Conservatives will not consider themselves
bound by any decision taken by the current Government. She also said that the
Conservatives would scrap a second runway at Stansted.
six trade unions called for it to scrapped. In a full page advert in today’s
Times UNISON, TSSA, ASLEF, the RMT, PCS and Connect called for investment in improved
proceed with a third runway. And it is now obvious that trade union support for
a third runway is nowhere near as strong as pro-expansion groups such as Future
Heathrow and Flying Matters like to make out. The announcements heap the pressure
on the Government to abandon its plans for Heathrow expansion."
tide is turning against the Government. Organisations from both the right and
left are saying that the third runway makes no sense in economic or environmental
For further information contact:
John Stewart on 0207 737 6641; 07957385650 www.hacan.org.uk
Unions join the fight against Heathrow expansion
Campaign for Better Transport  today joined with six unions and nine organisations
 to condemn plans for airport expansion. The groups say that if the Government
pushes ahead with expanding our airports, the UK will never be able to meet the
new target of cutting emissions by 80% by 2050  and play its part in fighting
What’s more, UK businesses do not need bigger airports in order to thrive. Business
travel accounts for a quarter of passenger trips by plane, but research into alternatives
to aviation  launched today (14 October) by Campaign for Better Transport reveals
that businesses already attribute many benefits to alternatives to air travel
such as rail travel and teleconferencing. By improving these alternatives, the
new Transport Secretary can create jobs, generate business and help in the fight
against climate change.
The research found that part of the 80% cut can be achieved by tempting air passengers
onto low-carbon alternatives such as trains. A north-south high-speed rail line
would be particularly effective in cutting short-haul business flights, as business
travellers are concerned about journey time, choosing to fly if the same journey
would take more than three hours by train. More and better on-board facilities
for business people, such as Wi-Fi services and power points, as well as airport-style
lounges at stations, would also make rail travel more attractive.
The need for many business trips can be removed by advances in teleconferencing
technology. In the past, it was thought that teleconferencing increased business
flights. But all of the businesses surveyed for Campaign for Better Transport’s
report said that teleconferencing can reduce the need to travel. This shift highlights
the necessity for Government to rethink the supposed need for airport expansion.
This need could be reduced still further if the Government worked closely with
businesses to increase the take-up of teleconferencing technology.
Jason Torrance, campaigns director at Campaign for Better Transport, said:
“The Government must scrap plans for airport expansion and assist businesses
in moving towards a low-carbon economy. If we are to have any hope of reducing
emissions by 80% by 2050 investment must be put into alternatives to air travel
to give people and businesses real choice.”
Notes for editors
 Campaign for Better Transport works to secure transport policies and programmes
that improve people’s quality of life whilst reducing environmental impact.
 Campaign for Better Transport has been joined by UNISON, five other unions
and nine organisations in placing an advert in the national press (14 October).
Organisations supporting the advert are ASLEF, Campaign for Better Transport,
Campaign to Protect Rural England, Connect, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance,
Greenpeace, HACAN ClearSkies, NoTRAG, Public and Commercial Services Union, Restore
UK, RMT, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, UNISON, World Development Movement
and 2M group.