SNP misled by Heathrow inflated claims of number of jobs for Scotland due to a 3rd runway

The SNP decided to give its backing to a Heathrow runway, rather than one at Gatwick – having been led to believe that the only choice on offer was between these two. They were led, by Heathrow PR, to believe there would be greater benefits for Scotland. The SNP hoped to get exports from Scotland (salmon and razor clams) shipped through Heathrow. The Airports Commission came up with a figure of economic benefit from a Heathrow runway of UP TO £147 billion to all the UK over 60 years. Heathrow got a consultancy called Quod to work out the number of jobs. They came up with the figure of 16,100 jobs for Scotland (over 60 years) from the runway. The DfT has now downgraded the £147 billion figure, as it included various speculative elements, and double counted benefits. The new figure (also still far higher than the reality) from the DfT is UP TO £61 billion for the UK over 60 years. That, pro rata, would mean up to about 9,300 jobs for Scotland – not 16,100. It is unfortunate that the SNP were misinformed, as were other MPs, Chambers of Commerce etc across the regions.  Heathrow also pledged benefits for Scotland such as using its steel for construction, and using Prestwick as a base. The Scottish Green party see the SNP backing of a Heathrow runway as a betrayal of those badly affected by it, and of Scotland’s climate commitments.
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Greens: SNP ‘bailed out’ Theresa May over Heathrow

27 October 2016 (BBC)

The co-convenor of the Scottish Greens has launched a scathing attack on the Scottish government over its support for a third runway at Heathrow
Patrick Harvie said the move meant Scottish ministers had surrendered their commitment to climate justice.  He said the SNP had “bailed out” the prime minister, who faces a revolt among her own MPs over the issue.

The Scottish government insists the new runway will have major economic benefits for Scotland.  [That is what Heathrow told them ….. see below].

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced on Tuesday that the Heathrow expansion had been chosen as the government’s preferred option ahead of a rival bid by Gatwick.

The Scottish government formally backed the Heathrow bid after the airport made a list of commitments to Scotland, including creating up to 16,000 jobs and investing £200m in the country.

Heathrow also said it would help to develop new domestic routes to Scottish airports, and would investigate whether Prestwick Airport – which is owned by the Scottish government – could be used as a “logistics hub” for the new runway.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Mr Harvie said Scotland’s commitment to climate justice apparently “doesn’t apply to people living under the flight paths at Heathrow”.

He said a third runway would cause a quarter of a million extra flights a year and a massive increase to emissions – which he said was the single biggest threat to the whole of the UK meeting its climate change targets.

It would leave thousands of people’s homes too noisy and too polluted to live in, and unknown tens of thousands more left suffering the damaging health effects, Mr Harvie claimed.

He added: “I can only imagine the outrage, and I would join it, from the Scottish government and from their colleagues at Westminster if the UK government was to inflict this kind of damage on so many lives in Glasgow or in Inverness or in Dundee in exchange for alleged economic self-interest.
“Yet they will now troop through the voting lobbies to bail out a Tory prime minister who stood for election saying no ifs, no buts, no third runway.
“What is the point of a principle like climate justice when it is surrendered so easily?”

 

Mr Harvie described Heathrow’s estimate of 180,000 jobs created by the plans as “pie in the sky” and “about as believable as the job projection figures for Donald Trump’s golf course”.

Referring to the presence of Heathrow representatives at the recent SNP conference in Glasgow, he said: “We’re not surely going to fall for this are we? What were the Heathrow bosses putting in the drinks at SNP conference?”

In response, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the decision was one for UK ministers, but her government had looked at the option that would deliver the greatest benefit to Scotland’s economy and connectivity.

She said: “On the economy there’s the potential for significant construction spend in Scotland and thousands of jobs.

“In the nearer term there is potential for a supply chain hub at Prestwick, which is extremely important in terms of economic impact and jobs, a £10m route development fund, a reduction starting in January in passenger charges that will make service between Scotland and Heathrow much more viable and a new marketing campaign as well.

“These are the reasons on which our decision was based.”

The first minister also said Scotland had a “strong record” on meeting climate change targets and had shown “global leadership” by including aviation emissions in reduction targets.

She added: “These will always be difficult decisions to strike, and difficult balances to strike, but meeting our climate-change targets but also ensuring we have the infrastructure to enable our economy to grow and support jobs – these are not mutually-exclusive objectives.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-37789175

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Earlier:

Scottish Government backs third runway plan

10/10/2016   Scottish Government website

The Scottish Government has announced its support for plans to build a third runway at London Heathrow Airport, after securing key commitments for Scotland.

  • The creation of up to 16,000 new jobs across Scotland from the new capacity.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-37605123

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And then after the Heathrow announcement on 25th October, with lower economic benefit claims, no mention of those jobs:

Lord Ahmad outlines benefits of Heathrow expansion to Scotland

26.10.2016    (DfT press release)

“A new runway at Heathrow would boost jobs across the UK, lead to more flights and better connections, and link Scottish businesses to expanding global markets, Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad said at Glasgow Airport today”.

[No indication of thousands of jobs ….]

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/lord-ahmad-outines-benefits-of-heathrow-expansion-to-scotland

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Net Present Value (NPV)

The  measure used by the DfT and the Airports Commission for the future benefit to the UK of a new  runway is NPV.  (Net Present Value).  A definition of NPV can be found here.


Quod report

The flimsy little 4 page paper on which the claims of jobs etc is based is by “Quod” and is at

http://your.heathrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Regional-Disaggregation-of-ACs-Economic-Impacts-FINAL-v2.pdf
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It has no date, no author, almost no references ….
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Their table from the Quod report – which is being used by the regions etc – is copied below.
quod
(The Airports Commission itself never anywhere said anything about 179,800 or even 180,000 jobs. This is extrapolation by Quod for Heathrow.  AW note)
And another table shows a total benefit for Scotland of £14 billion. But that is over 60 years, and it is derived from the assumption from the Airports Commission that Heathrow would provide a total benefit to the UK of £147 billion, over 60 years.
quod-pv-of-gdp-impacts-by-region
(This table appears to have been created by Quod, and is not from the Airports Commission – it us using Quod’s own methodology.  AW note).
The DfT has now reassessed this figure of up to £147 billion, (Quod etc of course use the £147 figure, and forget that it is “up to” …) and decided that it cannot be relied on.  It includes benefits from trade and other assumptions that cannot be justified, and risk double counting.
So the DfT has now come out with a figure of benefit to all of the UK of up to £61 billion (not £147) for all the UK over 60 years.  This is far lower than the £147 figure – in fact is it only 41.5% of it.
The job numbers in the Quod report are based on the  GDP level of £147.
Therefore, even if the assumptions in the Quod report are correct (and it is not clear in their paper how they have calculated the numbers, as there is no detail) the job figures should all be reduced by about 58%.  That would make the number of jobs, in Scotland, over 60 years, as more like 9,300 – not 16,100.

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Lakeside incinerator plant would need to move, at Heathrow’s expense, if runway is built

Grundon and Viridor’s Colnbrook incinerator at Lakeside Road would have to be demolished for a Heathrow north west runway. This, as well as local roads and the M25, are significant obstacles to the runway plan. The issue of how much Heathrow will pay for this is being negotiated. Early in 2015, Heathrow was reported to have struck a deal with Grundon and Slough Borough Council to overcome the risk to delivery of a runway, agreeing that the incinerator would be moved a short distance away, onto (Green Belt) land already owned by Grundon. It is not clear this is correct. Heathrow said it was preparing a “joint feasibility study”.  Heathrow said in 2015 that “NATS have given an initial opinion that the site is suitable for accommodating the height of flue stack required (75m).”  Three of the four lakes at Colnbrook Lakeside are now set to be lost, due to the runway.  In order that the incinerator remains open all the time, with no gap, building would need to start at least 3 years before being operational.  But the runway might never get the go ahead …  It is reported that discussions are taking place on payment of the multi-million costs of relocation. Adam Afriyie revealed in Parliament in 2015 that the government would not be paying. Robert Goodwill said it would be “a matter for the airport to take forward with the owners of the site.”
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Lakeside centre forced to move after Heathrow plans approved

Discussions set to take place over forced recycling centre move

1.11.2016  (Slough Observer)

Location of Colnbrook incinerator at present

DISCUSSIONS are to take place on who will pay for the relocation of Colnbrook’s recycling centre which will be forced to move as a result of the Heathrow decision, the Observer can reveal.

Bosses from Lakeside Energy From Waste and Heathrow Airport will sit down to discuss the move in the near future after the controversial plan to build a third runway was approved last week.

The centre has only been operational since 2010 and a relocation is likely to cost millions. The recycling plant will be forced to move sites as part of the airport’s expansion, and negotiations will take place over the cost.

Lakeside is seeking a like-for-like replacement for their current site in Lakeside Road, Colnbrook, and it is understood that employees’ jobs would not be affected as part of the transition.

Adam Afriyie revealed in Parliament last year that the government would not be picking up the bill to cover the move, meaning representatives from Lakeside and Heathrow will have to discuss finances.

A spokesman for the site said: “We are hoping for a like-for-like replacement but we still need to get planning permission and building commission.  “We’ve held initial discussions with Heathrow but we need to sit down and talk to them again (now the plans are approved).

“We have written to all of our employees just to say that this is the first stage of the process.”

Danny Coulston, the Lakeside Director of Operations, revealed last year that the firm would be forced to move sites if the plans to build a third runway was approved by the Government.

Windsor MP Adam Afriyie quizzed former Secretary of State for Transport Robert Goodwill on whether the government would contribute to the move, but Mr Goodwill replied: “The costs associated with the Lakeside Energy from Waste Plant were considered in the Airports Commission’s assessment of land acquisition costs.

“If the Government was minded to support the North-West runway at Heathrow, the planning and costs of moving the Energy from Waste Plant would be a matter for the airport to take forward with the owners of the site.”

The recycling site, which takes rubbish from Slough and surrounding areas and converts it into green energy, was not the only group in Colnbrook that was opposed to Heathrow’s plans.

Councillor Scott Bryant, chairman of Colnbrook Parish Council, added: “We will be working with the community now to see where we can take this.

“We will challenge, question and find out just where we stand. That’s all we can do at the moment.”

A spokesman for Heathrow added: “Heathrow will fully fund the cost of our expansion project. No taxpayers’ money will be used to expand. We will seek to come to an agreement with the relevant parties.”

http://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/14836544.Discussions_set_to_take_place_over_forced_recycling_centre_move/?ref=twtrec

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Waste plant to move after Heathrow announcement

Transport secretary Chris Grayling announced on 25 October that the Government would support the development of a third runway at the airport ahead of extending the existing northern runway or a second at Gatwick.

This follows a report published in July last year by independent body the Airport Commission, which recommended the Heathrow expansion.

The report indicated that expanding Heathrow’s airfield would require the removal and replacement of the Lakeside EfW facility, which was built at Colnbrook near Slough in 2010.

Now the Government has also backed the expansion, Lakeside Energy From Waste, the joint venture between Grundon Waste Management and Viridor which operates the plant, has said it will look for a new site.

A statement said: “Lakeside Energy from Waste will now seek to ensure the Lakeside EfW facility – and the associated waste management and recycling facilities within the Colnbrook complex – can be relocated on a like-for-like basis at a nearby suitable site, with minimal disruption, as soon as possible.

“We will work closely with Heathrow Airport and the relevant local and regulatory authorities to make sure these regionally significant facilities are delivered.”

The plant processes more than 450,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year from local businesses and a number of councils including Slough, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell and the West London Waste Authority.

It said the closure of the facility without a like-for-like replacement in the local area would be “disruptive and financially damaging” to these authorities.

The Airport Commission report said Heathrow’s expansion would generate up to 47,000 tonnes of waste annually by 2040.

Viridor also released a statement: “Viridor notes the Government’s decision regarding airport expansion in the south-east.

“Viridor will now seek to ensure that the award-winning Lakeside EfW facility, its joint venture with Grundon, can be relocated on a like-for-like basis, at a nearby suitable site, with minimal difficulties as recommended by the Airports Commission.

“Viridor will, through Lakeside Energy from Waste, work closely with Heathrow Airport and the relevant local authorities to ensure this is delivered.”

https://www.mrw.co.uk/latest/waste-plant-to-move-after-heathrow-announcement/10014110.article

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See earlier: 

Heathrow, Slough and Grundon agree deal on keeping incinerator in Colnbrook

by Colnbrook Views

23 FEBRUARY, 2015

…. extracts  ….

The Colnbrook incinerator will stay open until 2023 and then move just a few yards back if Heathrow wins the competition to build a new runway.

Grundon’s incinerator will stay until 2023, while a new incinerator will begin commissioning from 2019 to prevent any disruption to revenues streams.

Heathrow has struck a deal with Grundon and Slough Borough Council to overcome a risk to delivery of a Third Runway which Sir Howard Davies had described as “high”.

…..
And key to its confidence is text in the airport’s submission to Davies which reveals it is already working closely with Grundon and Slough Borough Council. So advanced are the discussions it seems that Heathrow says it is preparing a “joint feasibility study” on moving the incinerator a few yards further back into its Green Belt site:

A site has been identified for a potential replacement facility and a joint feasibility study is being prepared.

“The land is already owned by Grundon, thereby removing a potential obstacle to its replacement. The site is directly accessed off the realigned A4 and therefore would represent no change to existing vehicle access arrangements. NATS have given an initial opinion that the site is suitable for accommodating the height of flue stack required (75m).”

Slough Borough Council, which announced its partnership with Heathrow coinciding with its own response to Davies on February 3, neglected to mention the advanced stage of its discussions. It made a strong case to Davies that it would need to be compensated for the loss of £4.5 million in business rates if the incinerator was not rebuilt in the borough.

The new plans are sufficiently progressed with Grundon for estimates to have been provided to Davies on timing. The existing incinerator would remain operational until mid 2023 while a new facility would require 3-4 years to commission – putting construction at 2019.

The airport says it intends now to work with Grundon to devise a detailed scheme for its replacement so that the necessary consent process could be started without delay should it gain government backing in the Summer.

Three of the four lakes at Colnbrook Lakeside are now set to be lost under plans to which Slough Borough Council appears to have given its backing.

The relocation of the incinerator won’t be without obstacle, however. Having already identified that Colnbrook West and the larger of the Orlitt’s lakes would be lost under the tarmac of a Third Runway, Grundon’s new facility will see the smaller Orlitt’s Lake drained as well, leaving only Old Slade Lake. The area was identified as informal nature reserve only in 2013 when the Council re-confirmed the local development plan for the borough – along with a commitment to defending the Strategic Gap and improving the Green Belt wherever possible.

Heathrow Airport Ltd agreed with the Airports Commission’s finding that both tunnelling the M25 and relocating the incinerator represented significant delivery risks to a Colnbrook runway.

The airport has now asked the Commission to “modify its assessment of the risks that the re-provision of the energy from waste plant presents to the deliverability of the Heathrow North West Runway to ‘low’”.

The refreshed master plan also shows a change to Heathrow’s proposal to replace the Colnbrook By-pass.

Gone is the dual carriageway rerouted through Albany Park – which was clearly never going to fly. As widely speculated a new by-pass is now proposed between the new runway and properties in Poyle. It will now run to the M4/M25 interchange, down to Poyle Industrial Estate and beyond – forming a new HGV route to Junction 13.

While Slough has succeeded in keeping the incinerator in Colnbrook it has failed to persuade Heathrow to tunnel the new by-pass, which will also skirt residential areas and cut through Green Belt.

The deal, revealed by Heathrow in its submission to Sir Howard Davies earlier this month, will be seen as yet more evidence of the lengths to which Slough Borough Council will go to avoid projected revenue losses of up to £10 million from a Third Runway.

http://www.colnbrook.info/colnbrook-incinerator-to-stay-open-until-2023-under-heathrow-deal-hatched-with-grundon-and-slough-borough-council/

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DfT’s own study reveals just how tiny the possible economic benefits of Heathrow or Gatwick runway would be to UK

The economics figures by Airports Commission were always dubious, and their methodology was questioned by their own advisors. The Commission did not use the Webtag method that is normally used to cost transport projects. The Commission added in a range of possible future benefits for Heathrow, and for Gatwick – most purely speculative. Benefits of trade were added, even though these were effectively double counted as already taken account of by other sectors. The AC also counted in economic benefits to non-UK residents of flights to or from the UK. The recent DfT document entitled “Further Review and Sensitivities Report – Airport Capacity in the South East” has had to look more carefully at the figures. It has removed some of the wild claims of benefits from trade, and has looked at the benefits just to UK passengers.  Its figures show little difference in the alleged future economic benefit to the UK between Heathrow and Gatwick, and that these benefits are actually tiny.  Even when measured over 60 years. The DfT document mentions a large number of the aspects they looked at as being of “low analytic assurance”, meaning very uncertain. The new DfT figures give the total benefit (NPV) of a Heathrow north west runway being just £0.2 – £6.1 billion over 60 years, and the figure for Gatwick being £3.1 – £4.5 billion. The equivalent figures by the Airports Commission were £11.8 billion and £10.8 billion for Heathrow and Gatwick respectively. So current estimates are all even lower than before.
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The figures from the new DfT analysis for the NPV for all the UK of the Heathrow  north-west runway, excluding Wider Economic Impacts, are only from  minus (yes, minus) – £1.8 billion, up to plus £2.3 billion, over 60 years.

The NPV figure for a Gatwick 2nd runway would be plus £1.7 – £1.8 billion, over 60 years.

 

Government’s own study reveals Heathrow third runway would be less beneficial to UK residents than Gatwick

By JOE MURPHY (Evening Standard)

A bombshell Government study found Heathrow’s third runway would not benefit British residents as much as a second runway at Gatwick, the Evening Standard can reveal.

The cost-benefit analysis concluded that when benefits to overseas travellers and firms were excluded, British people and firms could gain up to £4 billion more in advantages if rival Gatwick was chosen for expansion.

The findings of the study – conducted by Department for Transport (DfT) officials using standard Whitehall methods – were buried in the annexe to a report published when Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced Government backing for the third runway.

The full report went to the decision-making Cabinet committee chaired by Theresa May, said the DfT, but it was not circulated to the full Cabinet when members held its own debate on airport expansion a week earlier.

Anti-third runway campaigners said the disclosure left the economic case for Heathrow “in tatters”.

Former Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers [who wants a Gatwick runway] said: “It’s astonishing that Ministers could have signed off on this project when even the Government’s own figures say Gatwick is the better option for UK residents.”

In his Commons statement last week, Mr Grayling said Heathrow’s north- west third runway plan was chosen because it offered “the largest benefits to passengers and the wider economy, of up to £61billion over 60 years”.

However, the Further Review and Sensitivities Report makes clear that these benefits include impacts outside the UK as well as the value to overseas travellers using Heathrow as a hub to pass through.

When the UK-only benefits were calculated, they estimated that a third runway would bring benefits of between £5.8 billion and £9.9 billion. But they predicted Gatwick expansion would be worth £8.9 billion to £10.3 billion to U.K. residents.  [See Table  A 17].

Below is Table A 17   (NPV means Net Present Value and WEI means Wider Economic Impacts. All these figures are for all the UK, over 60 years).

heathrow-gatwick-uk-only-benefits

[The DfT also said: 

As shown in Table A 17, the UK-only NPVs are higher than the NPVs estimated under the central case for all of the options. This is because many of the costs of expansion – lower profits and construction costs – ultimately fall to airlines (and/or their passengers), many of whom are defined as being non-UK. 67 These NPVs should be seen as no more than indicative because of the difficulties in robustly apportioning both the costs to airlines and expansion construction costs, and as such are of low analytical assurance. On balance, the department’s view is that 66 The reasons for why this approach is appropriate in the case of aviation appraisal are discussed in the AC’s approach of including impacts to both UK and overseas residents is the most appropriate and internally consistent approach.”]

Other startling findings from the detailed report include:

Mr Grayling’s case for a third runway included an estimate for the extra costs of road and rail links to Heathrow as being just £3.4 billion or less – a much smaller sum than the Airport Commission estimate of over £5 billion and Transport for London’s claim that they could cost farepayers £10 to £15 billion.  [Or up to £18 billion]. 

An overrun in Heathrow’s costs of just 1% could be enough to negate the overall benefits of the scheme. By contrast the analysis found Gatwick, which would cost half as much, would still offer benefits if costs rose by 44%.

The UK-only figures did not form part of the DfT’s central case for a third runway because, according to officials, they should be seen as “no more than indicative” and were “of low analytical assurance”.  [Most things looked at in the DfT paper come out as of low or medium analytical assurance – which presumably means they are highly uncertain.  AW note] 

But Zac Goldsmith, who is fighting a by-election to protest at the third runway plan, said: “The case for Heathrow is falling apart before our eyes.

“Yesterday it became apparent it would fall foul of air quality requirements. Today we see the economic benefits to British people are much smaller than offered by Gatwick. The Government has been herded into a quagmire by vested interests. They need to step back.”

John Stewart, of anti-expansion group Hacan, said: “It seems the Government has put the interests of hub passengers changing planes at Heathrow before anything else.”

However a DfT spokesman insisted: “Heathrow offers the greatest benefits. The independent Airport Commission report was very clear that it is the best scheme.

“The central case of our report also shows the benefits of Heathrow are higher than for Gatwick with Heathrow expansion estimated to benefit passengers and the wider economy by £61billion and could create up to 77,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships by 2030.”  [The DfT’s own report says local jobs by 2030 are more likely to be up to 37,740 – but they persist in using the earlier 77,000 figure. Chris Grayling is happy for the DfT to continue to use the wrong figure.  AW note]

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/government-study-heathrow-s-third-runway-less-beneficial-than-gatwick-a3386176.html

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Comparing tables between the DfT new paper and the Airports Commission Final Report

The table showing NPV (Net Present Value) for the 3 runway schemes, from the new DfT document.  Page 39

dft-new-heathrow-runway-economic-benefit


By contrast, the almost equivalent table from the Airports Commission Final Report   P147

Table 7.1 of financial benefits of runway

 

The DfT no longer bothers with the carbon-capped case, saying it is unrealistic for the UK to limit its aviation carbon emissions to its current cap of 37.5MtCO2.  So the new DfT document contains only carbon traded assessments.

The new DfT table shows economic benefit, (NPV) across the whole of the UK over 60 years as only £0.2 to £6.1 for the Heathrow north west runway.  (The AC figure was £11.8 billion)

The new DfT table shows economic benefit, (NPV) across the whole of the UK over 60 years as only £3.1 to £4.5  for the Gatwick 2nd runway.  (The AC figure was £10.8 billion)

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Wider Economic Impacts are discussed on Page 30 of  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/562160/further-review-and-sensitivities-report-airport-capacity-in-the-south-east.pdf

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ClientEarth wins air pollution case in High Court, that government action has been too slow

ClientEarth has won its High Court case against the Government over its failure to tackle illegal air pollution across the UK.  In a damning indictment of ministers’ inaction on NO2 air pollution, Mr Justice Garnham agreed with ClientEarth that the Environment Secretary had failed to take measures that would bring the UK into compliance with the law “as soon as possible” and said that ministers knew that over optimistic pollution modelling was being used.  In his ruling, the judge questioned Defra’s 5 year modelling, saying it was “inconsistent” with taking measures to improve pollution “as soon as possible.”  Defra’s planned 2020 compliance for some cities, and 2025 for London, had been chosen because that was the date when ministers thought they’d face European Commission fines, not which they considered “as soon as possible.”  The case is the second the government has lost on its failure to clean up air pollution in two years.  In the judgment he handed down Mr Justice Garnham ruled that the government’s 2015 Air Quality Plan failed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling or relevant EU Directives and said that the government had erred in law by fixing compliance dates based on over optimistic modelling of pollution levels. Future projections of compliance need to be based on  real emissions, not discredited lab tests.
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Read the judgment here

no2dirtyair-at-high-court

ClientEarth has won its High Court case against the Government over its failure to tackle illegal air pollution across the UK.

In a damning indictment of ministers’ inaction on killer air pollution, Mr Justice Garnham agreed with ClientEarth that the Environment Secretary had failed to take measures that would bring the UK into compliance with the law “as soon as possible” and said that ministers knew that over optimistic pollution modelling was being used.

In his ruling, the judge, who listened to two days of argument at the High Court last month, questioned Defra’s five year modelling; saying it was “inconsistent” with taking measures to improve pollution ” as soon as possible.”

Defra’s planned 2020 compliance for some cities, and 2025 for London, had been chosen because that was the date when ministers thought they’d face European Commission fines, not which they considered “as soon as possible.”

The case is the second the government has lost on its failure to clean up air pollution in two years.

In April 2015, ClientEarth won a Supreme Court ruling against the government which ordered ministers to come up with a plan to bring air pollution down within legal limits as soon as possible. Those plans were so poor that ClientEarth took the government back to the High Court in a Judicial Review.

In his judgment handed down this morning, Mr Justice Garnham ruled that the government’s 2015 Air Quality Plan failed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling or relevant EU Directives and said that the government had erred in law by fixing compliance dates based on over optimistic modelling of pollution levels.

ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “I am pleased that the judge agrees with us that the government could and should be doing more to deal with air pollution and protecting people’s health. That’s why we went to court.

“The time for legal action is over. This is an urgent public health crisis over which the Prime Minister must take personal control. I challenge Theresa May to take immediate action now to deal with illegal levels of pollution and prevent tens of thousands of additional early deaths in the UK. The High Court has ruled that more urgent action must be taken. Britain is watching and waiting, Prime Minister.”

During evidence, the court heard that Defra’s original plans for a more extensive network of Clean Air Zones in more than a dozen UK cities had been watered down, on cost grounds, to 5 in addition to London.

ClientEarth air quality lawyer Alan Andrews added: “We hope the new Government will finally get on with preparing a credible plan to resolve this issue once and for all. We look forward to working with Defra ministers on developing a new plan which makes a genuine attempt to achieve legal limits throughout the UK as soon as possible.

“We need a national network of clean air zones to be in place by 2018 in cities across the UK, not just in a handful of cities.  The government also needs to stop these inaccurate modelling forecasts. Future projections of compliance need to be based on what is really coming out of the exhausts of diesel cars when driving on the road, not just the results of discredited laboratory tests.”

http://www.clientearth.org/major-victory-health-uk-high-court-government-inaction-air-pollution/

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Related ClientEarth articles


See also

High court gives ministers deadline of April for draft of tougher air pollution plan and final by 31st July 2017

22.11.2016

On 2nd November, environmental lawyers ClientEarth inflicted a humiliating legal defeat on the UK government (the 2nd in 18 months) when the high court ruled that DEFRA plans to tackle illegal levels of air pollution in many parts of the UK were unlawful. The court gave the government 7 days to agree on the next steps, but it rejected the proposal from ClientEarth for an 8 month timetable for the improvements, saying it needed till September 2017. Now the high court judge, Mr Justice Garnham, has ruled that DEFRA must must publish a stronger air quality draft plan by 24th April 2017 and a final one by 31st July 2017. The judge also ordered the government to publish the data on which it will base its new plan. In his judgement on 2nd, the judge said it was “remarkable” that ministers knew they were using over-optimistic pollution modelling, based on flawed lab tests of diesel vehicles rather than actual emissions on the road, but proceeded anyway. He also ruled that ClientEarth can go back to court if it deems the government’s draft plan, due in April 2017, is once again not good enough to cut pollution rapidly. Alan Andrews, ClientEarth’s air quality lawyer, said: “We will be watching on behalf of everyone living in the UK and will return to court if the government is failing.” ClientEarth believes measure such as a diesel scrappage scheme and other measures that would cost money, that the Treasury has been unwilling to approve.   22.11.2016

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/11/high-court-gives-ministers-deadline-of-april-for-draft-of-tougher-air-pollution-plan-and-final-by-31st-july-2017/

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See also

ClientEarth back in court against UK government over illegal air pollution

17.10.2016 (ClientEarth press release)

Update from day one of the hearing: Read material from our skeleton argument.

Environmental lawyers ClientEarth bring the UK government back to the High Court tomorrow for failing to deal with illegal levels of air pollution.

It’s ClientEarth’s second battle in as many years over the UK Environment Secretary’s failure to tackle the national air pollution crisis.

ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “Defra’s latest figures estimate there are 40,000 early deaths across the UK every year because of air pollution. The government is acting unlawfully by refusing to turn this situation around. It is failing morally and it is failing legally to uphold our right to breathe clean air.

“The government must come up with far bolder measures, ready to face this issue head-on.

“Air quality in this country is nothing short of a public health crisis.”

ClientEarth won its case in 2015 in the Supreme Court, which ruled that the UK government must come up with plans to combat the crisis and bring pollution down to legal levels “as soon as possible”.

But the plans adopted in December last year outlined vague proposals that wouldn’t have secured compliance until at least 2025 and even this relied on hugely overoptimistic assumptions about emissions from diesel vehicles.

The original deadline for compliance was 2010.

ClientEarth has launched a wave of clean air cases around Europe in recent weeks, including Brno and Prague in the Czech Republic, and Brussels in Belgium. It has already won cases in Poland and Germany.

The UK case will be heard on the 18 and 19 October, with the verdict to come in the weeks afterwards.  [The verdict was on 2nd November 2016]. 

Update from day one of the hearing: Read material from our skeleton argument.

http://www.clientearth.org/clientearth-uk-government-high-court-illegal-air-pollution/

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From the Guardian’s article

2.11.2016

Diesel vehicles face charges after UK government loses air pollution case

…. an extract  ….

The government said it would not appeal against the decision and agreed in court to discuss with ClientEarth a new timetable for more realistic pollution modelling and the steps needed to bring pollution levels down to legal levels. The parties will return to court in a week but if agreement cannot be reached, the judge could impose a timetable upon the government.

At prime minister’s questions, May said: “We now recognise that Defra [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] has to look at the judgment made by the courts and we now have to look again at the proposals we will bring forward. Nobody in this house doubts the importance of the issue of air quality.”

The government’s own estimates show air pollution causes at least £27.5bn a year and in April MPs called the issue a “public health emergency”.

ClientEarth lawyers said they looked forward to working with Defra ministers to make a genuine attempt to rapidly cut pollution to legal limits throughout the UK, including a national network of clean air zones by 2018. “The government will have to be tougher on diesel,” said James Thornton, CEO of ClientEarth. “If you put in clean air zones, it works overnight.”

“Today’s ruling lays the blame at the door of the government for its complacency in failing to tackle the problem quickly and credibly,” said the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who took part in the case. “In so doing they have let down millions of people the length and breadth of the country.” Khan aims to have pollution charging in place in central London by 2017 and across the area within the north and south circular roads by 2019.

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The court defeat is also a blow for the new runway at Heathrow the government has backed.  Its approval depended on the effectiveness of the government’s national air pollution plan to meet legal requirements on air quality. The Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, said: “This ruling deals a huge blow to May’s reckless Heathrow expansion plans. The government has already illegally delayed meeting EU pollution limits until 2025 – building a third runway would make the situation even worse.”

Documents revealed during the high court case showed the Treasury had blocked initial government plans to charge polluting diesel vehicles for entering towns and cities blighted by air pollution, due to concern about the political impact of angering motorists.

Both the environment and transport departments recommended changes to vehicle excise duty rates to encourage the purchase of low-pollution vehicles. But the Treasury also rejected that idea, along with a scrappage scheme for older diesels, which ClientEarth supports.

….  and it continues ……

full article at

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/02/diesel-vehicles-face-charges-after-uk-government-loses-air-pollution-case?CMP=share_btn_tw

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See also

High Court win by ClientEarth on air pollution casts more doubt on the possibility of adding a Heathrow runway

The environmental law group, ClientEarth, has won its High Court case against the Government over its failure to tackle illegal air pollution across the UK. The judge agreed that the UK government had failed to take measures that would bring the UK into compliance with the law “as soon as possible” and ministers knew over optimistic pollution modelling was being used. AEF (the Aviation Environment Federation) says this failure by the government to get NO2 levels down discredits the air quality plan that formed the basis for the Government’s argument that a new runway at Heathrow would neither cause not exacerbate legal breaches in NO2 levels. Required to publish an updated plan for UK air quality, Defra produced one in December 2015. This brought forward the anticipated date of compliance to 2025 for London – just in time for the opening of a new runway according to the Airports Commission’s anticipated timeline. But the plans appeared to rely on new, more optimistic forecasts of emissions from diesel vehicles without presenting substantive policy proposals to actually deliver improvements. A new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick would lead to higher levels of air pollution, and the new court ruling confirms that compliance should not be based on over optimistic modelling – and government needs instead to take action to cut pollution levels.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

High Court win by ClientEarth on air pollution casts more doubt on the possibility of adding a Heathrow runway

The environmental law group, ClientEarth, has won its High Court case against the Government over its failure to tackle illegal air pollution across the UK. The judge agreed that the UK government had failed to take measures that would bring the UK into compliance with the law “as soon as possible” and ministers knew over optimistic pollution modelling was being used.  AEF (the Aviation Environment Federation) says this failure by the government to get NO2 levels down discredits the air quality plan that formed the basis for the Government’s argument that a new runway at Heathrow would neither cause not exacerbate legal breaches in NO2 levels.  Required to publish an updated plan for UK air quality, Defra produced one in December 2015.  This brought forward the anticipated date of compliance to 2025 for London – just in time for the opening of a new runway according to the Airports Commission’s anticipated timeline. But the plans appeared to rely on new, more optimistic forecasts of emissions from diesel vehicles without presenting substantive policy proposals to actually deliver improvements. A new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick would lead to higher levels of air pollution, and the new court ruling confirms that compliance should not be based on over optimistic modelling – and government needs instead to take action to cut pollution levels.
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High Court ruling on air pollution casts fresh doubt on the deliverability of Heathrow expansion

November 2nd 2016

By AEF (Aviation Environment Federation)

The Government has failed to take adequate measures to meet the legal requirement to being levels of nitrogen dioxide to within legal limits as soon as possible, the High Court ruled today, and has fixed its estimates for compliance dates based on over-optimistic modelling of pollution levels. Today’s judgement discredits the air quality plan that formed the basis for the Government’s argument that a new runway at Heathrow would neither cause not exacerbate legal breaches in NO2 levels.

This is the second time in just 18 months that the legal organisation ClientEarth has scored a court victory on this issue. In April 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that the Government’s plans for bringing the UK into compliance with air quality laws were inadequate, and ordered that the document must be redrawn. An updated plan was published by the end of 2015. This brought forward the anticipated date of compliance to 2025 for London – just in time for the opening of a new runway according to the Airports Commission’s anticipated timeline. But the plans appeared to rely on new, more optimistic forecasts of emissions from diesel vehicles without presenting substantive policy proposals to actually deliver improvements.

AEF has consistently challenged the robustness of the Government’s plans for air pollution and has argued that given the conclusion of the Airports Commission that expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick would lead to a deterioration in air quality, a new runway at either location should not be approved until the Government could be confident that air pollution in London and the South East would be within legal limits. Our summary of 50 reasons why Britain doesn’t need a new runway sets out why air pollution, alongside climate change, noise and other impacts, presents a significant hurdle in the way of expansion.

A report published today by IPPR suggests that the Heathrow area – which suffers pollution both from road transport (including freight vehicles) and from aircraft – will contain multiple points at which legal limits will continue to breach 2025 even if radical policy measures are taken in the interim. A ‘near total phase out of diesel cars in inner London, and a move toward more sustainable alternatives across other road transport’ would bring most of the city into compliance, the report suggests, but with numerous ‘concentration points’ above the NO2 limit value persisting in the vicinity of the airport.

AEF Deputy Director Cait Hewitt said: “Today’s ruling leaves the Government’s defence on the air pollution challenge facing a third runway in tatters. Relying on optimistic modelling, rather than real policy measures and appropriate planning decisions, has been found to be not just immoral but illegal. Expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick would increase air pollution, the Airports Commission found. The Government should drop its plans for new runways and focus instead on tackling London’s air pollution crisis.”

 

Figure 4.2 in IPPR's report Lethal and Illegal: solving London's air pollution crisis, November 2016 http://www.ippr.org/publications/lethal-and-illegal-solving-londons-air-pollution-crisis

Figure 4.2 in “Lethal and Illegal: solving London’s air pollution crisis”, IPPR, November 2016     
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http://www.aef.org.uk/2016/11/02/high-court-ruling-on-air-pollution-casts-fresh-doubt-on-the-deliverability-of-heathrow-expansion/
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Related articles by AEF

Heathrow air pollution research challenged by Aviation Environment Federation

What answers has the Government found to the environmental hurdles facing a third runway?

Are Heathrow’s concessions enough to address the impacts of a third runway?

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DfT documents on Heathrow air pollution

The Government’s latest document on Heathrow’s 3rd runway and air pollution was produced by the DfT on 25th October 2016.

It is at

Air quality re-analysis: impact of new pollution climate mapping projections and national air quality plan


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Read the judgment here

no2dirtyair-at-high-court

ClientEarth has won its High Court case against the Government over its failure to tackle illegal air pollution across the UK.

In a damning indictment of ministers’ inaction on killer air pollution, Mr Justice Garnham agreed with ClientEarth that the Environment Secretary had failed to take measures that would bring the UK into compliance with the law “as soon as possible” and said that ministers knew that over optimistic pollution modelling was being used.

In his ruling, the judge, who listened to two days of argument at the High Court last month, questioned Defra’s five year modelling; saying it was “inconsistent” with taking measures to improve pollution ” as soon as possible.”

Defra’s planned 2020 compliance for some cities, and 2025 for London, had been chosen because that was the date when ministers thought they’d face European Commission fines, not which they considered “as soon as possible.”

The case is the second the government has lost on its failure to clean up air pollution in two years.

In April 2015, ClientEarth won a Supreme Court ruling against the government which ordered ministers to come up with a plan to bring air pollution down within legal limits as soon as possible. Those plans were so poor that ClientEarth took the government back to the High Court in a Judicial Review.

In his judgment handed down this morning, Mr Justice Garnham ruled that the government’s 2015 Air Quality Plan failed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling or relevant EU Directives and said that the government had erred in law by fixing compliance dates based on over optimistic modelling of pollution levels.

ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “I am pleased that the judge agrees with us that the government could and should be doing more to deal with air pollution and protecting people’s health. That’s why we went to court.

“The time for legal action is over. This is an urgent public health crisis over which the Prime Minister must take personal control. I challenge Theresa May to take immediate action now to deal with illegal levels of pollution and prevent tens of thousands of additional early deaths in the UK. The High Court has ruled that more urgent action must be taken. Britain is watching and waiting, Prime Minister.”

During evidence, the court heard that Defra’s original plans for a more extensive network of Clean Air Zones in more than a dozen UK cities had been watered down, on cost grounds, to 5 in addition to London.

ClientEarth air quality lawyer Alan Andrews added: “We hope the new Government will finally get on with preparing a credible plan to resolve this issue once and for all. We look forward to working with Defra ministers on developing a new plan which makes a genuine attempt to achieve legal limits throughout the UK as soon as possible.

“We need a national network of clean air zones to be in place by 2018 in cities across the UK, not just in a handful of cities.The government also needs to stop these inaccurate Modelling forecasts. Future projections of compliance need to be based on what is really coming out of the exhausts of diesel cars when driving on the road, not just the results of discredited laboratory tests.”

http://www.clientearth.org/major-victory-health-uk-high-court-government-inaction-air-pollution/

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Lethal and illegal: Solving London’s air pollution crisis

Wed 2 Nov 2016

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London’s air pollution is a deadly and mounting public health problem – one that demands immediate as well as long-term action from the city’s new mayor, and from Westminster. Our report sets out that urgently needed strategy.

Air pollution levels in London exceed legal and World Health Organisation (WHO) limits for NO2, and WHO limits for particulate matter. In 2010, for example, these pollutants caused a range of health problems in the capital that are estimated to have shortened lives by 140,743 years – the equivalent of up to 9,400 deaths, and representing an economic cost of up to £3.7 billion. Poor air quality in London is causing a public health problem of the highest order: air pollution is the second most significant factor in determining health, after smoking. If London is to continue to flourish and prosper as a global city it must tackle this air pollution crisis.

The principal driver of air pollution in London is road transport and, within that, diesel vehicles. Nearly 40 per cent of all NOx emissions within London come from diesel vehicles, and unless this is explicitly tackled it will be impossible to cleanse London’s air. New modelling by King’s College London commissioned for this report estimates that policies bringing the level of diesel cars in inner London down to 5 per cent of the fleet, and increasing cleaner alternatives across other vehicle types, would bring 99.96 per cent of London into compliance with legal levels on NO2. The central conclusion of this report is therefore that London must progressively phase-out diesel vehicles over the next decade and beyond in order to reduce air pollution levels down to legal and ultimately healthier levels.

This transition will take time, but there is much that the mayor can do now. This report presents a strategy for this mayoral term and the next.

Within the mayor’s current term, new policies to reduce air pollution should focus on increases in regulation and road charging, and tax reforms. Investment should then be channelled into sustainable alternatives, including shared transport, and support programmes for those groups most affected during the transition. Beyond 2020, our strategy recommends increases in the extent of road pricing in order to reduce the use of petrol vehicles and road miles.

These measures are likely to have a significant positive impact on London’s economy and carbon emissions, as well as on public health. Other global cities such as Paris, Berlin and Delhi are taking radical action to clean their air – it is time for London to do the same.

KEY FINDINGS

  • London is breaking legal and WHO limits for NO2, and WHO limits for particulate matter. Under the existing policy regime the capital is not expected to reach compliance with the legal limits on NO2 until 2025 or beyond. No level of air pollution exposure is safe.
  • Most air pollution in London is caused by road transport, of which diesel vehicles are the most polluting, emitting about 40 per cent of the capital’s total NOX emissions and a similar proportion for PM10. As such, many diesel vehicles will need to be progressively phased out in order to bring air pollution to within acceptable levels. In the near term, this means legal limits; in the longer run, it will mean reducing emissions down to negligible levels.
  • Modelling undertaken by King’s College London for this report estimates that policies that would bring the levels of diesel cars down to 5 per cent in inner London, and drive a move towards cleaner alternatives across other vehicle types, would bring 99.96 per cent of London into compliance with legal levels on NO2.
  • These improvements in air quality would result in an estimated gain of up to 1.4 million life-years over a lifetime across the population of Greater London, providing an estimated annualised economic benefit of up to £800 million (see the annex).
  • Policies to achieve the reduction of air pollution to acceptable levels will impact millions of those who live, work and travel within and out of London, so significant investment is required in policies to support those groups most affected and to provide alternative and sustainable transport options. Policies must send clear messages to vehicle manufacturers, and the mayor will need to work in concert with other cities and central government.
  • Policy at the London level needs to be complemented by action at a nation and European Union scale. Air pollution and road transport manufacture, use and ownership do not respect borders, while the UK’s departure from the EU means that legislation on air pollution limits could be repealed and standards reduced.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LONDON GOVERNMENT

Phase 1 (2016–2020)

  • The mayor should extend the ultra low emissions zone (ULEZ) and accelerate its implementation, including by:
    • extending the ULEZ up to the north and south circular roads, bringing implementation forward to 2019
    • ensuring that diesel cars below the Euro 6 standard and petrol cars below the Euro 4 standard are charged a fee per day if they enter the zone
    • increasing the pollution standard on LGVs within the LEZ so they must meet Euro 5, from the current requirement of Euro 3
    • increasing the pollution standard on HGVs and coaches within the LEZ to Euro 6, from the current requirement of Euro 4
    • Transport for London should procure only hybrid or zero emissions buses from 2018 and increase the emissions standard on TfL buses to Euro 6 within the expanded ULEZ.
  • Central government should devolve vehicle excise duty to the London level.
  • The mayor should require all newly licensed private hire vehicles to be zero-emissions capable from 2018.
  • The mayor should call on central government to provide a diesel scrappage scheme.
  • Transport for London should determine any temporary exemptions and discounts for those most adversely affected by the expanded ULEZ.
  • The mayor should include a plan for the expansion of the car share market in his new transport strategy.

Phase 2 (2020–2025)
The mayor should:

  • ensure that all Euro 6 diesel cars are charged within the expanded ULEZ by 2025, announce the plan to charge all diesel cars in the expanded ULEZ as soon as possible
  • increase the pollution standard on LGVs within the LEZ so that they must meet Euro 6 by 2025
  • ensure that all buses are zero emissions within central London, and on major routes where air pollution levels are particularly acute
  • implement a ban on all diesel taxis across London in 2025
  • introduce an emissions charge on all non-zero-emissions cars across inner London by 2025
  • consider introducing a zero emission zone across central London from 2025
  • mandate TfL to investigate the potential for a smart charging system and an integrated road pricing scheme in London
  • ensure the revenues raised by road charging are reinvested into the public transport network and other alternative, sustainable transport options.

Other recommendations
Influencing EU policy

  • The mayor should work with other city mayors around Europe to argue for implementation date of the conformity factors to be brought forward, eventually introducing a conformity factor of 1 by 2021.

National policy
The government should:

  • introduce a new Clean Air Act that targets air pollution, including nitrogen oxides and particulate matter
  • introduce a diesel scrappage scheme
  • progressively reform the VED regime to disincentivise diesel cars relative to petrol.

The Department for Transport should:

  • convene all relevant departments to ensure the transport analysis guidance accurately reflects the cost of air pollution within its appraisal process.

http://www.ippr.org/publications/lethal-and-illegal-solving-londons-air-pollution-crisis

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The IPPR’s “60 second summary” of “Lethal and Illegal” is at

http://www.ippr.org/files/publications/pdf/lethal-and-illegal-solving-londons-air-pollution-crisis_summary_Nov2016.pdf?noredirect=1

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The full IPPR report (53 pages) of “Lethal and Illegal”  is at

http://www.ippr.org/files/publications/pdf/lethal-and-illegal-solving-londons-air-pollution-crisis-Nov2016.pdf?noredirect=1

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Friends of the Earth warn Chris Grayling that DfT process is pre-determining approval of Heathrow runway

Friends of the Earth (FoE) have sent a letter to Chris Grayling at the DfT, highlighting concerns over the way approval of a Heathrow runway is being done. The letter accused the government of ‘substantive procedural flaws’. It raises concerns that Heathrow had been named as the selected site for the major development without the decision undergoing the legal planning process. FoE the government decision ‘pre-empts the will of parliament’ and ‘predetermines the outcome of any planning application’.  FoE’s Head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said that the PM had ‘announced the decision as if it was a done deal, but there are many MPs who recognise the devastating effect expanding Heathrow will have on our climate, who will want to vote against these proposals’.  If FoE does not receive what it deems to be sufficient assurances over how the government came to its decision, it could be the basis of a legal challenge in the future. The letter says “the decision (as quoted) risks illegality in two respects, namely: a. pre-empts the will of Parliament (by assuming that a planning application will follow parliamentary consideration of the NPS – parliament may resolve the reject the NPS) and  b. predetermines the outcome of any planning application submitted concerning the development of the third runway (since it states that “construction will follow” the determination of the application by yourself).”
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Statement by Friends of the Earth:

The decision to expand Heathrow airport is not only bad for our climate and clean air but pre-empts the will of parliament says Friends of the Earth, as it sets out its legal concerns in a letter sent to the government today (28 October).

The letter describes how Theresa May’s government appears to have predetermined the outcome of the planning process and side-lined MPs by announcing Tuesday’s decision as a done-deal.

Andrew Pendleton, Friends of the Earth Head of Campaigns said:

“Prime Minister May announced the decision like it was a done deal, but there are many MPs who recognise the devastating affect expanding Heathrow will have on our climate, who will want to vote against these proposals.

“With a decision as monumental as Heathrow, MPs shouldn’t be side-lined, nor the planning process circumvented. The fight to prevent the expansion of Heathrow is far from over.”

Andrew Pendleton added:

“As the government is poised to sign the Paris Agreement, a decision to expand Heathrow makes UK climate promises seem like just hot air.”

(Statement by Friends of the Earth)

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Some extracts from the letter from Friends of the Earth, to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport:

We refer to the full text of the decision as published on the gov.uk website on 25 October
published in your name. Under the heading “Further facts”, the decision states:
“Airport expansion will be delivered through a thorough, faster planning process, under the 2008 Planning Act and 2011 Localism Act. The government will set out the
airport scheme it wants, along with supporting evidence, in its NPS. Public and
Members of Parliament will be consulted and there will be a vote in the House of
Commons. This will be followed by a planning application by the airport to the
Planning Inspector who will take a view and advise government of his decision. Final
sign off will be by the Secretary of State for Transport and then construction will
start.”   [[This paragraph contains inaccuracies by the DfT. See below for corrections. AW note]]
6. The decision continues:
“In time a new runway will also require the redesign of the airport’s flightpaths. This
will form part of a wider programme of airspace modernisation which is already
needed across the country in the coming years. The government expects to consult in
the new year on a range of national proposals covering noise and airspace.
Expansion at Heathrow Airport Ltd will be accompanied by a comprehensive package
of mitigation measures which will be subject to consultation with the public as part of
the draft NPS consultation process. The measures will also be subject to regulatory
approval by the CAA.”

7. The decision (as quoted) risks illegality in two respects, namely:

a. pre-empts the will of Parliament (by assuming that a planning application will follow
parliamentary consideration of the NPS – parliament may resolve the reject the NPS)
and

b. predetermines the outcome of any planning application submitted concerning the
development of the third runway (since it states that “construction will follow” the
determination of the application by yourself).

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and it goes on to say:

Whilst a NPS is not a piece of legislation, they are adopted pursuant to legislation and intended to carry significant weight in the resolution of planning applications to which they apply. They are, we argue, strongly analogous to legislation for these reasons. In any event, and partly in recognition of their status in the planning system, they are subject to approval by parliament before being made. It follows that you are not entitled to presume as to the outcome of parliamentary consideration of the NPS, since this would risk infringing on the role and will of Parliament as envisaged in planning law and contrary to case law in any event 3.

[Footnote 3.   R v Secretary of State for Health, ex parte C [2000] 1 FLR 627 – the Secretary of State is said to enjoy “the same liberties as a private individual and a private individual was entitled to act as he or she pleased, subject to the constraints imposed by the substantive law or the requirement not to infringe the rights of others” (our emphasis). ]
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and

 

10. It is well established that a public law decision maker must approach a decision with an “open mind”4 . The test is whether the fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility of predetermination5 . There is no need to prove actual predetermination – it is about the appearance of predetermination6 .

11. We believe that the statement that “construction will follow” the determination of a planning application clearly meets this threshold, since it must follow from your statement that construction “will follow” your “sign off” of the application, because you intend to grant the application come what may. No conditionality or nuance is admitted by the wording of the decision, nor is it clear that it implied. It is clear that you have a closed mind in relation to the Third Runway application; that the decision is itself undermined in law as a result; and any decision by you in relation to a planning application in relation to the Runway would be unlawful as a result.

 

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Corrected version of the paragraph in the DfT statement of 25.10.2016 (which is still incorrect on the DfT website)

 

[Law firm Bircham Dyson Bell say the paragraph by the DfT contained inaccuracies. Below is the DfT paragraph, with the sections that are incorrect shown in light orange, and the corrections from BDB shown in red italics.]

Airport expansion will be delivered through a thorough, faster planning process, under the 2008 Planning Act and 2011 Localism Act. The government will set out the need for the airport scheme it wants, along with supporting evidence, in its National Policy Statement. The public and Members of Parliament will be consulted and there will be a vote in the House of Commons on the final draft of the NPS.  This will be followed by a planning application  development consent order by the airport to the Planning Inspectorate who will examine the application take a view and advise government of his decision its recommendation. Final sign off will be by the Secretary of State for Transport and then construction will start once any pre-commencement requirements have been discharged.

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Estate agents anticipate considerable falls in property values, in many areas, due to Heathrow 3rd runway

There is already speculation about how much house prices will fall in areas affected by aircraft noise, if there was a Heathrow 3rd runway.  The founder of eMoov believes that property prices will be as much as 20% lower in areas such as affected parts of Hounslow, Kew, Windsor and Maidenhead, due to air pollution as well as noise. Another property business, dealing in buy-to-let mortgages, expects that flats and smaller houses will fare better as workers move to the area for work. “Any expansion of Heathrow would be good news for landlords who run their business in close proximity to the airport.” But he expected that having a plane overhead every few minutes would not help increase the price of mansions.  The cut in price due to the 3rd runway could even create a pocket of almost affordable housing, if the average house price in Hounslow and Hillingdon fell to around £330,000, from around £407,000 now.  Areas nearer the centre of London will also be affected, including Richmond, Westminster, and Hammersmith and Fulham, as the arrival flight paths would go straight over huge areas of west London. The effect on the economy?  But one west London estate agent cautioned home owners being too concerned yet, or acting too fast, as the runway cannot be approved for at several years.
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Third Heathrow runway will hit surrounding house prices

By Ryan Bembridge (Mortgage Introducer)

October 25, 2016

The third Heathrow runway will blight property prices in the surrounding areas of Hounslow, Kew, Windsor and Maidenhead, eMoov founder Russell Quirk has warned.

The government gave a third runway the green light today six years after the Conservative-led coalition scrapped similar plans.

The move has prompted former London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith to resign as an MP, while the current London mayor Sadiq Khan called it the wrong decision for both the capital and the UK.

Quirk called the decision “lhttp://www.mortgageintroducer.com/third-heathrow-runway-will-hit-surrounding-house-prices/#.WBeFEeGLRmCong overdue” and felt it would benefit the UK economy as a whole, though he doesn’t think those living nearby should be jumping for joy.

He said: “Not such great news for the hundreds of residents that will see their properties demolished as a result of the expansion of a third runway.

“Probably even worse news for homeowners in Hounslow, Kew, Windsor, Maidenhead and other surrounding areas who are likely to see the value of their property blighted, as a result of a lengthy construction process and ongoing noise and air pollution.”

But Lee Grandin, owner of buy-to-let brokerage Landlord Mortgages and B2B platform Lend2Landlord, reckoned flats and smaller houses will fare better as workers move to the area.

He said: “Yes, if you have a nice £3m mansion in Kew or Windsor an Airbus over your head every 10 seconds probably isn’t going to make your dream mansion desirable to purchasers.

“But flats and smaller houses will see a significant increase in demand from workers moving to the area for work.

“Any expansion of Heathrow would be good news for landlords who run their business in close proximity to the airport.”

Grandin was bemused by the move after talk of a ‘hard Brexit’ appeared to signal a tightening up on migration.

He added: “Developing infrastructure to support global trade after Brexit will help to strengthen our economy but it doesn’t stack up.

“On the one hand we want to restrict migrant movement from Europe but we are quite happy to encourage their flights to land here to and from Europe.

“Are we replacing immigration with a pollution dump over the capital?”

http://www.mortgageintroducer.com/third-heathrow-runway-will-hit-surrounding-house-prices/#.WBeFEeGLRmC

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This is how the third runway at Heathrow will hit London house prices

25.10.2016 (City AM)
By Helen Cahill (who reports on retail and property)

Tens of thousands of pounds could be lost off the price of some houses.

The government has given the go-ahead for the third runway, and if there’s one group of people who won’t be happy about it, it’s the people living nearby.

Estate agents eMoov think the decision could lead to a 20% drop in house prices in the area due the noise and air pollution that the project will bring.

The runway decision could create London’s first affordable pocket for housing – the average house price in Hounslow and Hillingdon could fall to around £330,000, eMoov said. At the moment, the average house price in Hounslow is £407,666.

Areas nearer the centre of the capital will also be affected, including Richmond, Westminster, and Hammersmith and Fulham.

The decision could be the “final nail in the coffin” for house prices in Westminster, eMoov said, where prices have fallen by £65,000 in the last month.

Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of eMoov, said: “Great news for the UK economy and indeed those that frequently fly out of London for both business and pleasure.

“Not such great news for the hundreds of residents that will see their properties demolished as a result of the expansion of a third runway.”

Ben Madden, managing director of west London estate agents Thorgills said:

Potential buyers will be forensically poring over flight paths to see if that once quiet street will be blighted by aircraft noise.

Aircraft noise in West London is already the property currency. A two-bed house in an area that’s overflown will have a negative value difference of up to 10% to a similar property in an area nearby. A third runway could wipe tens of thousands of pounds off prices.

Some 783 homes will be demolished to make room for the runway, removing communities in Longford and Harmondsworth.

The government said today that it will be giving homeowners faced will compulsory purchase 125 per cent of the market value of their properties, plus stamp duty and other fees.

Rob Weaver, director of investments at Property Partner, said: “The creation of construction jobs in the short-term, airport jobs in the long-term – and all the nearby secondary industries (such as hotels), will push up employment and property prices. I personally live near the area, and my house is under one of the flight paths, but I still believe that there will be far more winners than losers.”

Mark Hayward, managing director of the National Association of Estate Agents, said worried homeowners shouldn’t act too quickly.

“Alongside today’s announcement, the government has also released details of a fresh consultation, while the threat of judicial review still remains high,” Hayward said. “This means homeowners that will be impacted by the extra runway should not rush into making knee-jerk decisions, as they have time to assess their options.”

Sam Bowman, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute, said “we shouldn’t feel too sorry for local residents”.

Bowman said:

Their house prices will have been lower to reflect the inconvenience of living in the flight path, compared to similar houses in quieter areas and, for anyone who has bought a house in the past four decades, also to reflect the probability of a third runway being built.

So the trade-off for them is cheaper housing in exchange for a bit more ambient noise from aircraft.  [The man is presumably under-informed on the matter. He seems to be unaware that Cameron promised on new runway in 2009. Heathrow promised no new runway in 1999 at the Terminal 5 Inquiry.  AW note]

http://www.cityam.com/252215/heathrow-decision-hit-london-house-prices

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What is the impact on the economy of falling house prices? 

http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/21636/housing/how-the-housing-market-affects-the-economy/

 

How does a fall in house prices affect the economy?

  • When there is a fall in house prices, there tends to be a negative wealth effect, and a negative impact on economic growth.
  • Because households see a fall in house prices, their main form of wealth declines, this reduces their confidence to spend. They are more likely to devote a higher % of their income to trying to pay off their mortgage early.
  • Falling house prices causes more people to be trapped in negative equity (a situation where your house is worth less than outstanding mortgage). This causes a fall in spending, and precludes any opportunity for equity withdrawal.
  • Falling house prices has a negative impact on the construction of new houses.

After the 1990 house price crash, there was a sharp fall in consumer spending and this was a major cause of the recession of 1991-92. Falling house prices wasn’t the only factor harming the economy (the economy also suffered from high interest rates and high value of Sterling) But, falling house prices was definitely an important contributing factor.

Falling house prices have an important psychological impact. A fall in house prices can definitely pop a bubble of rising expectations.

Wealth effect

The wealth effect looks at the impact of rising value of assets on consumer spending.

A rise in house prices creates an increase in wealth for householders. As a consequence of this increase in house prices, householders will generally:

  1. Be more confident about spending and borrowing on credit cards. They can always sell their house in an emergency.
  2. Increase in equity withdrawal. A rise in house prices enables homeowners to take out a bigger mortgage. Banks can lend more on the basis of increased price of the house. Households could use this bigger loan to spend on other items. This can create a significant increase in consumer spending. For example, in 2006, with rising house prices, equity withdrawal added an extra £14bn to consumer spending. In 2008, with falling house prices, equity withdrawal was -£7bn. (people taking opportunity to pay off mortgage)

…. and there is more at

http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/21636/housing/how-the-housing-market-affects-the-economy/

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No confirmation by government that taxpayer won’t have to fund surface access transport for Heathrow 3rd runway

Transport for London calculated the costs of upgrading and improving surface access, to deal with the extra passengers using a 3 runway Heathrow could be up to about £18 billion, over several years. Heathrow has only offered to pay a total of £1.1 billion. Stephen Hammond, a former transport minister, (2012 – 14) asked Chris Grayling about the costs, as did other MPs. The responses were evasive. Stephen Hammond believes the transport work is likely to cost the taxpayer (= us) at least £5-10 billion, and the government is misinforming the public by announcing that: “Expansion costs will be paid for by the private sector, not by the taxpayer.” Asked about the costs, Grayling replied that Heathrow …”will be held to a plan that: first, does not increase the current level of road transport to the airport; and, secondly, increases public transport access to the airport to 55% of those using it. Those will be obligations that it will have to fund. The Government’s financial advisers have said that that is viable and investible. There are question marks about what schemes are actually part of the surface access. Some of them we have to do anyway. For example, we are about to start improvements to the M4, which will benefit Heathrow and improve access, but they are not solely about Heathrow.”  ie. no clarity at all, and sounds as if government realise Heathrow cannot even build the runway etc without raising landing charges, let alone all this work. So is not insisting on it …?
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This is what Chris Grayling said on 25th October 2016 in the House of Commons, (Hansard) on how much the taxpayer would have to pay, to improve surface access – because of a Heathrow 3rd runway:

  • Respected outside experts have estimated the need for £11.5 billion of taxpayer support for the third runway and even the Airports Commission suggests up to £5 billion, yet post the Cabinet meeting this morning, the Government website says that the expansion costs will be paid for by the private sector. I listened carefully to the Secretary of State’s statement, but he did not reiterate that commitment. Will he tell the House how much the taxpayer will have to put in for runway three and the associated surface works?

  • The most fundamental point is that Heathrow has committed, and will be held, to a plan that: first, does not increase the current level of road transport to the airport; and, secondly, increases public transport access to the airport to 55% of those using it. Those will be obligations that it will have to fund. The Government’s financial advisers have said that that is viable and investible. There are question marks about what schemes are actually part of the surface access. Some of them we have to do anyway. For example, we are about to start improvements to the M4, which will benefit Heathrow and improve access, but they are not solely about Heathrow. There are, however, some very clear obligations in terms of actual deliverables that the airport will have to meet and pay for.


Heathrow third runway: public bill up to £10bn hidden, says Tory MP

Former transport minister Stephen Hammond urges government to ‘come clean’ over probable bill to taxpayers

By Gwyn Topham (Guardian)
Wednesday 26 October 2016

(… extracts…) 

The true cost of Heathrow airport expansion to the taxpayer is not being divulged by the government, according to a Conservative former transport minister, who said ministers needed to “come clean” over the probable £5bn-£10bn public cost for road and rail links.

Tory MP Stephen Hammond raised his concerns as it emerged that Heathrow executives would get millions in bonuses for securing approval for the £17.6bn third runway scheme.

Hammond, a transport minister from 2012-14 when the airports commission was studying the scheme, said the government was misinforming the public by announcing that: “Expansion costs will be paid for by the private sector, not by the taxpayer.” The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, had also omitted this in his statement to the house, he said.

MP Stephen Hammond says Heathrow expansion costs will not fall to the private sector, as ministers claim.

“There will be a number of specific things we will be doing for Heathrow. The government and Heathrow need to come clean on what the cost to the taxpayer is going to be. No one would be surprised if it is £5bn, but we should just be honest about it,” Hammond added.

While the commission report estimated a £5bn bill for new roads and rail links, Transport for London put the potential cost as being as high as £18.4bn.

Heathrow said it had earmarked just £1bn, and that it only accepted direct responsibility for works to the M25, which the third runway would cross, and a few minor roads. The airport contends that it will be cutting traffic, despite adding up to 55 million passengers a year, and that revenues could offset the bill.

….. and it continues on other topics  about Heathrow ….

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/26/heathrows-third-runway-public-bill-hidden-tory-mp-stephen-hammond-taxpayer-cost

 

 

Heathrow: Commission ignored TFL warnings on transport costs

October 26, 2016
by Emma Howard and Damian Kahya (Greenpeace, Energy Desk)

The Airports Commission ignored warnings by Transport for London (TfL) that they underestimated the costs associated with expanding Heathrow by more than £10 billion, Energydesk has learned.

On Tuesday the government approved the expansion of Heathrow, based on the recommendation of the independent Airports Commission.

In its final report published in July 2015 (pdf), the Commission made a “clear and unanimous” recommendation that a third runway be built at Heathrow, putting the cost at £17.6bn, plus £5bn for surface transport costs.

But TfL told Energydesk on Tuesday that they had informed the Commission on several occasions that their analysis was a vast underestimate.

In a response to the Commission’s consultation submitted in February 2015 (pdf), London’s transport regulator called upon the Commission to do a re-assessment and clarify whether the taxpayer or the airport would foot the bill, an issue that appears to be unresolved.

“TfL estimate that the Commission is underestimating the surface access cost of expansion at Heathrow and Gatwick by more than £10bn,” they said.

The Commission’s analysis relied on “short-term” and “optimistic” assumptions about passenger and staff demand and a “full, long-term surface access assessment” was needed, they added.

TfL’s own analysis put the price tag as high as £18.4bn, a discrepancy that first emerged in documents revealed by an Energydesk investigation in April.

But the government said they do not recognise the figure, disputed whether all the transport upgrades will be required and suggested that those included by the Airports Commission will be subject to further assessment.

A government spokesperson told Energydesk: “We don’t agree airport expansion will require £15-20 billion. That figure includes a whole range of projects that may or may not be used in the future related to population growth. There are ongoing rail and road projects that will take account of population and economic growth. In a couple of years time we will have a much clearer idea of what will be required.”

However TfL said they had not included any projects that were already “funded and planned”.

Heathrow also dismissed the TfL analysis.

Traffic costs

The £18.4bn figure emerged in internal Transport for London (TfL) spreadsheets and slideshows that were released following an investigation by mobility and environmental campaigners.

Read the documents  (Google Drive)

The TfL analysis suggested the Commission failed to take into account the costs of key rail schemes, extra buses, additional operational spending and road traffic management.

Background travel demand will be higher than assumed by the Airports Commission with the GLA’s new interim employment forecasts.  (And see graph)

Both sets of estimates include the costs of major road schemes such as putting part of the M25 in a tunnel and widening sections of the M4.

However the Airport Commission’s estimates overlooked the cost of additional buses, road traffic management, and major rail improvements such as an upgraded Great Western Main Line, a new rail link through Staines, and an extension to Crossrail 2 running from Teddington to Heathrow.

Many of these projects were in the Commission’s assumptions – but without any additional funding.

In their February 2015 response, submitted when anti-Heathrow MP Boris Johnson was mayor, TfL said:

“In their short-term assessment, the Commission consistently adopt ‘optimistic’ assumptions for estimating demand, impact and cost. They potentially underestimate airport passenger and staff demand for road and rail by around 25%. Consequently, their appraisal potentially misses out billions of pounds of new transport infrastructure required to accommodate their proposals in the long-term.

“The Commission assume billions of pounds of currently unplanned road and rail upgrades will be implemented before 2030. In spite of their published evidence showing these upgrades are essential to keeping their airport expansion proposals credible, all such costs are excluded from the appraisal.”

“The Commission should conduct a full, long-term surface access assessment of the airport expansion proposals.”

In the same response, TfL also called upon the Commission to clarify whether the multi-billion pound bill for the transport upgrade would be paid by taxpayers or the airport.

It is an issue that still appears to be unresolved. The government has made it clear that it expects aviation expansion promoters to cover any surface access costs, but Heathrow bosses told MPs they have only budgeted £1 billion.
The Airports Commission said (Airports Commission Final Report, para. 8.25) that “Expansion is ‘not a transformative factor’ that would significantly change the scale of these challenges’. i.e. improvements to surface access infrastructure is not Heathrow’s problem.

But Transport for London said: “If non-committee schemes are required for a 3rd runway they need to be identified and their costs included to ensure delivery with a 3rd runway.

Without commitment to additional investment there is a real risk of severe impacts on both airport and non-airport travellers, increased crowding and congestion, and an exacerbation of air quality problems.

https://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2016/10/26/heathrow-commission-ignored-warnings-transport-costs/

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Other questions from MPs, and answers by Chris Grayling, in the House of Commons on 25th October, relating to costs to be borne by the taxpayer.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con)

I am glad to say that I have not lost my wallet, Mr Speaker.

I warmly welcome the Secretary of State’s announcement, but if Heathrow is to meet its emissions targets a large number of people will have to be persuaded to travel by rail rather than car, so will he say something about the western rail link proposals? Will he also consider providing fast rail links between all London’s airports?

 
Chris Grayling

Both the western and the southern rail links are part of the schedule for Network Rail’s future projects. Heathrow airport is due to pay part of the cost of those links, since they involve broader issues than this project alone, but as a result of today’s decision their construction will need to be accelerated. Links between airports are not currently being considered, but if the economy of the south-east continues to grow and develop, they may well be considered in the future.

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Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) (PC)

Transport for London has estimated that the cost of associated transport infrastructure to service a third runway at Heathrow would be about £20 billion. Can the Secretary of State give the House a cast-iron guarantee that any public money used to pay for that work would result in full Barnett consequentials? Or is he saying that the routes identified by TfL would be paid for fully by private sources?

Chris Grayling

It is important to look at the committed outputs. Heathrow airport has committed to an expansion without an increase in the number of motor vehicles using the airport, and to an increase in the number of people accessing the airport by public transport to a level of 55%. That is the objective it has to meet, and it has agreed that it has a financial obligation to get to that point. Some projects are already in train. Crossrail is nearly complete, and the western and southern routes already in Network Rail’s plans will also make a contribution. There is clearly an obligation on the airport to meet those objectives.

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Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire) (Con)

My right hon. Friend has not said a great deal about the already horrendous congestion on the M25 north and south of Heathrow. Does his Department monitor the extent of the existing traffic jams, which are already really bad? Will anything be done as part of Heathrow’s expansion to try to improve capacity on the M25 so that people can get to and past the airport?

Chris Grayling

As I indicated earlier, the situation around the south-west of the M25 in particular is a matter for concern. Highways England has plans in place to start to address some of those problems. My experience is that the worst jams occur to the south and the north where four lanes go into three, and I have asked Highways England to look at how we can address that issue, starting with the junctions to the south-west.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2016-10-25/debates/4D74A7CB-8921-48BD-9960-FD15D5D1EEDF/AirportCapacity

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John Hayes reply   31.10.2016

In Parliament on 31st October, this is a response from John Hayes, saying Heathrow will indeed have to pay for some infrastructure (but no details)

Photo of Alan BrownAlan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Oral Statement on Airport Capacity of 25 October 2016, Official Report, column 179, whether any public transport upgrades or public infrastructure will be required to facilitate the proposed additional runway at Heathrow.

Photo of John HayesJohn Hayes Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Heathrow Airport will benefit from Government’s huge committed transport investment programme which will see the delivery of Crossrail, HS2, improvements to the M4 and M25, as well as increased capacity on the Piccadilly Line.

Heathrow Airport Limited will finance the surface access infrastructure required for airport expansion, including re-alignment of the M25, the A4 and A3044, as well as airport and terminal access roads. In addition, it will contribute to the costs of building the proposed new Western Rail Link and Southern Rail Access. This reflects the ambition to have no more people arriving at the airport by private transport than they do today.

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2016-10-26.50531.h&s=Runway#g50531.q0

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See earlier:

 

While Heathrow try to claim cost of surface access just £2.2 billion, TfL estimates cost of £18.4 billion

Heathrow’s management have claimed that only £1.2bn of public funds would be needed to upgrade local road and rail links, for its 3rd runway, while Heathrow itself would spend a further £1bn, making £2.2bn. The Airports Commission estimated the cost to be around 5.7bn, to include widening the M4 and tunnelling the M25 under the runway. But now TfL has come up with figures showing the total cost would be about £18.4bn, which is hugely more. TfL believes Heathrow and the Commission have substantially underestimated the amount of increased congestion the runway would cause on the roads, and on trains due to 30 million more annual passengers. They also did not take freight into account. The government has said whichever airport might be allowed a runway would have to meet all the costs which arise due to a new runway, and from which the airport would directly benefit. TfL has added the cost of other vital transport infrastructure, such as improving bus services, traffic management measures and alterations to the South West and Great Western Main Lines. TfL says none of the schemes in its £18.4bn figure are already committed, funded or planned. The Campaign for Better Transport said the money would be better spent elsewhere eg. on the Northern Powerhouse.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/04/while-heathrow-try-to-claim-cost-of-surface-access-just-2-2-billion-tfl-estimates-cost-of-18-4-billion/

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IAG’s Willie Walsh doubts current Heathrow management could build runway to budget

The chief executive of IAG, Heathrow’s biggest customer, has said he has no confidence in the airport’s management to deliver a new runway cost-effectively.  Willie Walsh did not believe Heathrow would build the new runway within the cost constraints on charges to airlines, set out by their regulator, the CAA, under its current management with John Holland-Kaye.  Perhaps they could with different management.  Willie Walsh has said for years that he is not prepared to pay up-front higher charges, to help Heathrow pay for their runway during its construction. Heathrow has made the odd comment that it will “hold its charges steady on average over the period up to 2048″ but that they may go up in some years and down in others. IAG has about half of Heathrow’s take-off and landing slots. The Financial Times believes IAG is likely, according to aviation insiders, to win only around a quarter of slots on the new runway – so it will face more competition.  Heathrow’s charges are controlled by the CAA, which wrote to John Holland-Kaye on 25th October, confirming that the airport would not be allowed to raise its charges, and passengers should not have to pay more.  The government’s aspiration is that charges should remain close to their current levels. Heathrow would have to to work with airlines and have “productive engagement” with them.
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BA owner ‘doubts’ Heathrow can build runway within budget

I have no confidence in airport management to deliver project without raising passenger charges, says IAG chief Willie Walsh

By  Transport correspondent (Guardian)

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG, said Heathrow had been premature in celebrating government approval of the project and warned that it would be “a significant challenge” for the airport to deliver a runway while keeping charges flat, as stipulated by the government.

“Do I have confidence that the current team at Heathrow can do it? No I don’t,” said Walsh

IAG, which includes the airlines Vueling, Aer Lingus and Iberia, is Heathrow’s biggest customer, operating about half of all flights at the west London airport

The government said the new runway had to be “delivered without hitting passengers in the pocket”, and the regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, wrote to the airport to confirm it expected Heathrow to keep the charges low.

Walsh said Heathrow’s current plan could not be delivered without increasing charges. “Among other things, the airport will have to confirm that the [project] can be built without raising passenger charges. Can the proposal given by Heathrow to the airports commission be built and keep charges flat, no it can’t,” he said.

The IAG boss added that a runway could be built by Heathrow if there was “some radical change in their [the management’s] behaviour and thinking”, but repeated: “I’m personally not confident they can do it.”

Insisting that “there will be no ability for Heathrow to hike charges”, Walsh said: “It’s a significant new challenge for the airport and not one they have had to face up to in the past.

“If the argument is that the third runway is positive for the UK economy we’ve got to make sure that it is for the benefit of customers and not for the shareholders.”

Heathrow is owned by Spanish conglomerate Ferrovial and the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar, Singapore and China, along with two pension funds.

The airport said it intended to keep charges low. “As our biggest customer, Heathrow has been listening to IAG about the cost of the current proposal for expansion. Heathrow is determined to work with all our airline partners to deliver expansion as cost efficiently as possible – keeping landing charges low and delivering value for our passengers,” said a spokesperson.

Walsh once championed a third runway but refused to be involved in the latest lobbying after the coalition government scrapped expansion plans in 2010. But, he said: “It represents an opportunity for BA as clearly its current schedule would operate better if operated over three runways and it gives BA and other airlines an opportunity for expansion which we don’t have today.”

Walsh said air fares could rise in near future because of the effect the Brexit vote had on the value of the pound.

“Consumers are looking at price increases. Ticket prices have been declining and will continue into Q4 [the rest of 2016]. But in time if sterling continues to be weak, you are looking at increases in fares,” he said.

The drop in sterling contributed to a 3.6% decline in profits for IAG in its last quarter, which covers the most lucrative summer season. In the months to September, operating profits dropped to €1.2bn (£1.1bn), as revenues fell 4% to €6.5bn.

€162m of that was directly attributed to the currency fall for IAG, whose revenues mainly accrue through pounds spent on BA fares.

Although the short-term impact of the EU referendum was a dent to profits, he said: “Longer-term a weaker pound will mean the BA cost base is better. Our principal competition is US carriers on the transatlantic routes and we’ll have a lower cost base. It’s swings and roundabouts.”

An uncertain operating environment, terror attacks and air control strikes were also blamed by IAG as it downgraded its 2016 profit forecast once again, this time to €2.5bn, a figure that would still represent year-on-year growth of between 7% and 8%.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/28/ba-owner-doubts-heathrow-can-build-runway-within-budget-iag-willie-walsh

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Letter from Andrew Haines, CEO of the CAA, to Heathrow

The letter from the CAA to John Holland-Kaye is at  http://www.caa.co.uk/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=4294981598
This states:
part-of-caa-letter-to-holland-kaye-25-10-2016

IAG boss doubts Heathrow chiefs can build runway to cost

Airport’s biggest customer rejects increase in charges during construction

by: , Transport Correspondent (FT)

28.10.2016

The chief executive of Heathrow’s biggest customer said on Friday he has no confidence in the airport’s management to deliver a new runway cost-effectively, just three days after the project was given the go-ahead.

 

Full FT article at

https://www.ft.com/content/ef9fa218-9d03-11e6-8324-be63473ce146

Read more »

Heathrow 3rd runway: Harmondsworth residents link decision to Brexit

The Huffington Post interviewed people in Harmondsworth a few days after the news that the government intends to give approval for a Heathrow runway. That will mean around half of the village being destroyed, and all of Longford, with the new runway perimeter fence half way down the village.  People gathered in the Five Bells Pub in Harmondsworth on 25th October, to watch the TV and get the news together.  Some of the people interviewed were Roy Barwick, who has lived there all his life, and whose family has lived in the area for nearly six generations. He spoke of how the small landing strip beside fields his family worked grew to become the giant hub it is today. “My children, my grandchildren and myself occupy four houses in the villages and all of them are earmarked for demolition.“Losing one’s home is a trauma second only to bereavement.  I’m not going anywhere. I shan’t leave.” Neil Keveren is a long-standing campaigner, to try to save his village. He believes that Brexit is being used to force the runway through, and it is opportunistic messaging. He spent money improving his home, when Cameron promised there would be no 3rd runway – and the irony is that as parts of Harmondsworth are a conservation area, he had to use specially approved materials. The runway fence will be just outside his property. For some, no amount of money can make up for the memories that may be lost under the tarmac of the new runway.
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Heathrow Airport Third Runway: Harmondsworth Residents Link Decision To Brexit

‘We’re saying the latest plan has been put together on the back of a fag packet.’

29/10/2016

By George Bowden (Reporter at The Huffington Post UK)

watching-the-heathrow-news-harmondsworth

People in the Five Bells pub in Harmondsworth, watching the news on the TV, of the government approval of a Heathrow runway – meaning their eviction from their homes

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Lots of excellent photos in the Huffington Post story here
For Roy Barwick, the decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow Airport threatens to end his family’s near six generation long history in west London. Roy Barwick has lived in Harmondsworth his entire life and his children and grandchildren own property in the Heathrow villages.

Speaking in the living room of his Harmondsworth home adorned with family mementos, the former farmer recalled how the small landing strip beside fields his family worked grew to become the giant hub it is today.

“My children, my grandchildren and myself occupy four houses in the villages and all of them are earmarked for demolition,” he told The Huffington Post UK.

“I couldn’t have imagined it would all be concentrated in one place like this,” he said. “There’s been no new thinking at all.”

Yet this week ends more than a decade of uncertainty for residents like Roy, with the government heralding its “momentous” decision as a signal “Britain is open for business”.

This has led many of those living around the airport believe that the government’s desire for good economic news post-Brexit vote has hurried the decision to build a third runway.

Campaigner Neil Keveren, of the Stop Heathrow Expansion campaign, looks out of his home in Harmondsworth, under the proposals his future view will be of a perimeter fence.  Neil Keveren  told HuffPost. ““I think potentially Brexit is being used to force this through.  To say that we need this and that we can’t afford to lag behind the others in any way and to show that we’re open for business.

“I think it’s opportunistic messaging.”

The 55-year-old builder, whose Harmondsworth home will face a new airport boundary fence under the plans, has seen his fair share of political manoeuvring during the debate to expand the airport.

Harmondsworth is noted for its traditional English architecture, like Sun House above
“The electorate of Maidenhead believed Theresa May was opposed, they will feel betrayed,” he said. “David Cameron’s ‘no ifs, no buts, no third runway’ pledge was repeated in the House of Commons, Philip Hammond quoted Monty Python in his opposition – where’s their conscience now?”

The decision this week came as Transport Secretary Chris Grayling endorsed new plans for a ‘sloped’ runway over the M25 as a way of delivering expansion on time.

The slope would be built using earth from elsewhere on the site and, unlike previous proposals, leave the busy six-lane motorway intact. Pilots have since said this could mean more fuel is required on take-off and cause problems for landing aircraft.

The historic village of Harmondsworth has many listed buildings and is an official conservation area

“We’re saying the latest plan has been put together on the back of a fag packet. We’ve got no details at all,” local historian Justine Bayley, who lives next door to Keveren and will also face the new perimeter, said. “This is a government that’s waving a magic wand, that is desperate and has got all sorts of big financial holes to plug because of the way the pound’s gone after Brexit.

“Now they’re prepared to spend money like there’s no tomorrow.”

Over in the village of Sipson, a mile from Harmondsworth, hairdresser Jackie Clark-Basten, 43, told HuffPost she thinks Brexit has clouded the government’s view. Jackie runs a hairdressing salon in Sipson,  close to where a new runway is proposed. She said:
“They’ve agreed to something that’s deeply flawed,” she said. “I think that by looking at what will happen post-Brexit, Theresa May wants to make sure we’re a strong viable country once we leave the EU.

“I think Brexit has influenced Theresa May’s position because what she’s been left with is making Britain in an extremely strong position once we leave.

“They want to say ‘we’re open for business’. And I suppose one way is to open up new routes and trade links with other countries. We hear that a third runway will do that, but we’re not so sure.

The villages of Heathrow are picturesque in character, with campaign banners the only sign of the proposals

“Maybe that’s what the government has based the decision on. It feels like they’ve tried to get a square peg into a round hole.”

It comes as the Airports Commission report which “formed the basis” of the decision to back Heathrow was exposed to have potentially overstated the benefits of a new runway by as much as half.

A new document from the DfT on 25th October shows the number of new local jobs delivered by an expanded Heathrow could be just 50% of that predicted by the Commission’s report  – ie. up to  37,740 not up to 77,000 by 2030  – and the entire economic case could be out by as much as £86bn, ie. at the most optimistic, up to £61 billion for the whole of the UK over 60 years, rather than the earlier figure of £147 billion.

Neil Keveren’s partner Emma Steele, 47, told HuffPost she fears of the effect on teaching if the new runway is built.

“I’m a music teacher over in Slough, and I already see my snare drums rattle when a plane goes overhead. I’m not sure the people over there know what’s coming.”

Having spent thousands developing their home, Emma said she felt betrayed by ‘absurd’ conservation laws that demanded the family use prescribed materials to renovate their house.

“Yet despite all that, being a conservation area doesn’t matter if they want to build a runway,” she said. “The fact we’ve got listed buildings that will go. Why should it happen and how can they do that?”

But ignoring the campaign against expansion and the doubts surfacing over the economic case for a third runway, some residents of the villages affected are keen to sell up and move on.

“Looking at the wider benefits, the country seems to need better connections through the airways and it’s got to happen somewhere,” Ian Jarmaine, 70, told HuffPost.

“I’m now retired and in a position where I can upsticks. It’s very much a personal view and if you like a very selfish attitude,” he said. “What annoys me is that this has been considered for 20 years. Asking myself do I buy new windows, do I spend money? Life has been on hold.”

Those whose homes are scheduled for demolition received a letter from Heathrow giving them notice just an hour after the announcement on Tuesday.

Ian Jarmaine and Roy Barwick are among the some 4,000 people who will lose their home under the current proposals, receiving full value of their home plus an additional sum.

Other’s like Neil Keveren and Justine Bayley will receive unspecified compensation should they need to sell their homes after the runway is built.

Yet some argue no amount of money can make up for the memories that may be lost under the tarmac of the new runway.

“Losing one’s home is a trauma second only to bereavement,” Roy said. “I’m not going anywhere. I shan’t leave.”

Full article, with lots of great photos, is at 

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/heathrow-airport-third-runway-brexit_uk_581337a3e4b04660a438ded4?

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Also lots of good photos from the Daily Mail at

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3885762/Meet-people-facing-Heathrow-s-death-sentence.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Residents in the tiny but historic village of Harmondsworth, West London, have posed for photographs outside the buildings that now face destruction.

The village, which is home to a Grade I-listed barn as well as a Norman church, would be flattened in parts.

In addition to the properties that will be demolished, other houses will be deemed uninhabitable due to noise pollution.

Residents have been living on tenterhooks for years, awaiting the decision that could destroy their small community.

The fate they feared is now one step closer to reality after Theresa May backed the multi-billion pound expansion, with a final decision expected next winter.

Among them is Armelle Thomas, a 70-year-old resident of Cambridge Close who posed with a portrait of her late husband Tommy, a war veteran.

Under the plans, her home would be among 750 or so buildings to be flattened to make way for a third runway.

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