Mayor Ken Livingstone protests against Heathrow Airport expansion

19.2.2008   (Transport Briefing0

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has said there is no case to be made for expanding
Heathrow or any other airport in London or the south east and new runways and
more planes would cause more carbon emissions, increasing the threat of catastrophic
climate change.

The Mayor spoke while attending a protest at Sipson village in Hillingdon, which
would be bulldozed if plans for a third runway are approved. Other protestors
included Geraldine Nicholson, chair of the No Third Runway Action Group, Linda
McCutcheon from the Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents Association, John Stewart,
chair of HACAN ClearSkies and Sipson village residents.

In June 2003 the Mayor reaffirmed his opposition to the proposals to expand Heathrow
in his response to the government’s consultation ‘Adding Capacity at Heathrow
Airport’. The current public consultation closes on 27 February.

Ken Livingstone said: “It is vital that all airport expansion in London and the
south east, including Heathrow is halted now as it is completely contrary to the
growing evidence on the role of aviation in contributing towards catastrophic
climate change.

"Rather than more runways and plane journeys, we must cut carbon emissions by
using energy more efficiently. The government’s own figures show air travel produces
two to three times more carbon emissions than making the same trip by rail.

"On every test environment, economic and quality of life, the argument for expanding
Heathrow has not been made and I don’t believe it ever can. We have a duty to
protect our environment not just for us, but the generations who will come after

Geraldine Nicholson, chair of the No Third Runway Action Group said: “More than
700 homes will be destroyed if the third runway at Heathrow gets the go ahead.
The huge increase in noise and pollution will affect thousands more, not to mention
the hundreds of schoolchildren who will have to go to school within a mile of
the proposed runway. BAA and the Government don’t seem to care about any of this
and look prepared to bulldoze over our objections. We’re determined not to let
that happen.”

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