Cabinet split over proposed Heathrow third runway
that Heathrow’s controversial expansion plans should be rejected unless noise
and air pollution are dramatically cut.
a "problem" with air quality even before the construction of the proposed third
the pollution concerns and said failure to cut emissions was "not something that
we can contemplate".
expose the growing cabinet rift over the Heathrow expansion.
emissions of harmful nitrogen dioxide and "particulates" – soot and dust.
the millions of families who live under the flight paths.
suggested that stringent European Union emissions targets could still be met if
the third runway gets the go-ahead.
the Environment Agency issued its own report saying the case had not been proven.
airports operator that owns Heathrow.
on air pollution. While Britain had asked Brussels for special opt-outs from the
regulations, the last of these so-called "derogations" would expire by 2015. "We
have to honour that commitment and I am determined that we will," he said.
EU rules. "You are then in trouble with the commission, you get infraction proceedings
and then off you go – which is not something that we can contemplate," he said.
While Heathrow’s supporters in the cabinet, such as Hoon, pay lip service to the
pollution and noise concerns, they prefer to concentrate on the economic arguments
in favour of expansion.
at the results. What I have been looking at in particular is air quality and
was also a key issue.
concerns about Heathrow in public, others are understood to have private doubts.
of airport expansion on the emission of greenhouse gases and was instrumental
in forcing the decision on the runway to be delayed until January.
London, is said to be worried about a potential backlash from voters in the capital
whose lives could be blighted by the extra noise.
are also said to have doubts. A Commons motion opposing Heathrow’s expansion
has been signed by 57 Labour MPs including Martin Salter, the Reading West MP
and a party vice-chairman on the environment.
be reduced by the introduction of "green" aircraft over the next few decades and
the wider use of electric or hybrid cars on the congested roads around Heathrow.
improvements from new technology would have an effect.
"Air quality is an issue, but this project will get the go-ahead," said a senior
the scenes to persuade ministers to support the project.