Lord True, Richmond Council leader and Conservative peer, describes Heathrow promises as ‘worthless’ and asks David Cameron to deny expansion immediately

The leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, has called Heathrow’s pledge to ban night flights a “feeble attempt to bribe London.”  He described Heathrow’s promises as “worthless” and said on the ending of night flights:  “This so-called pledge falls short of what the Davies Commission requests and the Heathrow PR men simply cannot be believed. If they can stop pre-5.30am flights, why don’t they do it now? Rather than spending billions of pounds doing it?”  On Heathrow’s claims about air quality improvements, Lord True commented:: “They cannot comply with EU air quality limits and their ‘jam’ promises are worthless…..if people’s health comes first – big Heathrow is dead in the water.”  He said Heathrow had just made some token alterations to their original proposals.  Richmond Council, along with Wandsworth, Hillingdon and Windsor & Maidenhead councils, have already made it clear that should the Government give a 3rd Heathrow runway the go-ahead – they would together launch legal action opposing the plans. Lord True: “I say to Mr Cameron – hundreds of thousands of Londoners remember your promise – “no ifs, no buts,” ….We expect our Prime Minister to keep his promise….”
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Lord True, Richmond Council leader and Conservative peer, describes Heathrow promises as ‘worthless’ and asks David Cameron to deny expansion immediately

By George Odling, (Senior Reporter – Richmond & Twickenham Times)
The leader of Richmond Council has called Heathrow’s pledge to ban night flights a “feeble attempt to bribe London.”

The airport’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, announced measures that would “exceed Airports Commission conditions”, including banning night flights from 11pm to 5.30am once a proposed third runway opens.

Heathrow agrees no fourth runway [only with rather odd wording: “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway.”] in attempt to secure third as it “meets or exceeds” Airports Commission conditions

But Richmond’s Lord True described the airport’s promises as “worthless.”

The Conservative peer said: “This so-called pledge falls short of what the Davies Commission requests and the Heathrow PR men simply cannot be believed.

 

“If they can stop pre-5.30am flights, why don’t they do it now? Rather than spending billions of pounds doing it?”

Among Heathrow’s responses to the Airport Commission report, which recommended the airport for expansion over Gatwick in July last year, included creating an ultra-low emissions zone for airport vehicles by 2025 and not releasing new capacity until it can do so without delaying the UK’s compliance with EU air quality limits.

Lord True disputed these claims, however, and said: “They cannot comply with EU air quality limits and their ‘jam’ promises are worthless.

“The recent Volkswagen scandal has only highlighted public concern about the issue and if people’s health comes first – big Heathrow is dead in the water.”

The council leader has previously made it clear that should the Government give expansion the go-ahead – a decision that was expected to be made earlier this year but delayed – the council would launch legal action opposing the plans.

 

He said: “Put plain and simply, this is a feeble emotional bribe from Heathrow. They have cherry-picked one of the many valid reasons against expansion and made token alterations to their original proposals.”

Lord True added: “We have now waited long enough for this decision. We have already made our feelings clear to the Government. Should they rule in favour of a Heathrow expansion – we will fight it in the courts.

“I say to Mr Cameron – hundreds of thousands of Londoners remember your promise – “no ifs, no buts,” and your personal commitment to our air quality.

“We expect our Prime Minister to keep his promise, listen to the people of London and say no to any expansion of the airport today.”

http://m.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/14485548.Richmond_Council_s_Conservative_peer_leader_describes_Heathrow_promises_as__worthless__and_asks_David_Cameron_to_deny_expansion_immediately/?ref=twtrec

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See also

Heathrow makes guarded, carefully worded, offers to meet Airports Commission conditions for 3rd runway

Heathrow knows it has a difficult task in persuading the government that it can actually meet the (unchallenging) conditions put on its runway plans by the Airports Commission. Now John Holland-Kaye has written to David Cameron, setting out how Heathrow hopes to meet some conditions. They make out they will even exceed the conditions, in some cases. On Night flights, they say they will introduce a “legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.” [Note, scheduled – not late arrivals etc]. And they will “support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.” [ie. full of caveats]. They dodge the issue of agreeing not to build a 4th runway, saying it they government makes a commitment in Parliament not to expand Heathrow further, then Heathrow will “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway..” [Words carefully chosen]. On noise and respite, Heathrow say “We will ensure there will be some respite for everyone living under the final flight path by using advances in navigational technology. We will consult and provide options on our proposals to alternate use of the runways.” [ie carefully chosen words, avoiding giving much away].

Click here to view full story…

eathrow’s vague proposal on no night flights – what is Heathrow really saying?

Heathrow currently, under current night flight controls that are due to be re-considered in 2017, is allowed 5,800 night flights per year. That’s an average of 16 arriving each morning, typically between 4.30am and 6am. The latest flights should leave by 11.30pm but there are many that are later, almost up to midnight. Heathrow has been very reluctant to agree to a ban between 11.30pm and 6am, which was the condition imposed by the Airports Commission. Heathrow claims the early arrivals are vital for businessmen catching early flights – especially those from the UK regions. But now, desperate to be allowed a 3rd runway, Heathrow mentions [very careful, rather odd wording]: “The introduction of a legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.” and “We will support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.” Heathrow only mentions scheduled flights. Not late ones. It is widely recognised that for health, people need 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night. Not 6.5 hours. Heathrow makes no mention of the inevitable concentrated landings and take offs at the shoulder periods, in order to keep 6.5 hours quiet. Apart from insomniacs and shift workers, who else regards the end of the night as 5.30am?

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow’s commitment on 4th runway – what is Heathrow really saying?

The Airports Commission said, in giving its recommendation that a 3rd Heathrow runway should be built, that a firm condition was that no 4th runway should ever be built there. The Commission’s wording in its Final Report (1.7.2015) was: “A fourth runway should be firmly ruled out. The government should make a commitment in Parliament not to expand the airport further. There is no sound operational or environmental case for a four runway Heathrow.” And “This may be as part of a National Policy Statement or through legislation.” What Heathrow has now said is that it will: “Accept a commitment from Government ruling out any fourth runway.” This does not say this ban on a 4th runway would be in legislation. It merely says there would be a commitment. But the coalition government made a commitment not to build a 3rd runway, in 2010. That commitment was then overturned in the next Parliament. It scarcely encourages trust. A commentator in the Huffington Post says (as well as the long history of Heathrow’s broken promises) that allowing the 3rd Heathrow runway would effectively say Heathrow is now and ever will be the UK’s hub airport. Hub airports actually “need at least four runways and preferably room to expand further.”

Click here to view full story.


See earlier:

 

Four councils affected by Heathrow threaten to take legal action against Government if it backs Heathrow runway

Four Conservative controlled councils – Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead councils –  are preparing to sue the government over a proposed 3rd Heathrow runway. The four councils are near Heathrow, and affected adversely by it. The warning to David Cameron, from their lawyers, says an escalation in the number of flights would be “irrational and unlawful”.  The legal letter to No 10 says court proceedings will be launched unless the Prime Minister categorically rules out expansion of Heathrow. It says “insurmountable environmental problems” around the airport mean it can never be expanded without subjecting residents to excessive pollution and noise. The councils have believed, since the launch of the (government appointed) Airports Commission’s final report, that it made a “flawed assessment” of Heathrow’s ability to deal with environmental issues (noise, NO2, and carbon emissions among them). The councils also say David Cameron’s previous promise – “No ifs, No buts, no 3rd runway” – had created a “legitimate expectation” among residents that there would be no runway. The authorities have appointed Harrison Grant, the solicitors that led a successful High Court challenge in 2010 against the former Labour government’s attempt to expand Heathrow.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/03/four-councils-affected-by-heathrow-threaten-to-take-legal-action-against-government-if-it-backs-heathrow-runway/
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