Heathrow claims “Those living around us are behind us” – those living under its flight paths do not agree

Heathrow airport has made much of its recent survey, from which it felt able to say – in yet more of its vast (expensive – £17 million by Feb 2015) adverts that “Those Living Around Us Are Behind Us.” The survey, done in November and December 2014, managed to get the level of net support in a list of boroughs near Heathrow, just up to 50%. The net level of opposition was 33%, with 16% neither supporting nor opposing.  The earlier poll, done in September 2014, showed 49% support and 32% opposition, with 18% unsure.  The scripts used for these telephone polls are not published, so it is difficult to know how much the questions lead people being questioned towards certain answers.  “Back Heathrow,” in its submission to the Airports Commission (Page 18) , did something very unorthodox (ie. wrong) with the data. By leaving out the % of people who did not express a view in favour or against (16% in the December poll) they got the level of support up to 60%.  But that is an incorrect use of data.  By contrast, 22 out of 24 local councils in the Heathrow area and across London are against a new runway. The only two that are still in favour are Slough and Spelthorne. 


Those living under your flight paths are not behind you

Note the councils used in this survey …..

Download detailed results   Nov-Dec 2014 poll

Populus poll Heathrow Nov - Dec 2014 1


Slightly different mix of councils here  ….

Download detailed results  July – September 2014 poll

Populus poll Heathrow July to Sept 2014 1



Slightly different mix of councils again here …………… (ie. the  figures cannot properly be compared ….)

Download detailed results   Feb – May 2013 poll

Heathrow Populus Feb - May 2013

 Detailed Populus poll results for September 2007 survey



And there is more at

The stubborn 30% who remain opposed to a 3rd runway could be politically more important than those who support it

Heathrow airport frequently gets opinion polls done by Populus. These are phone polls, done by phoning randomly chosen numbers, in chosen boroughs. The script of the interviewer is not published, but earlier someone who received one of these calls wrote down as best she could at the time, the questions. There appeared to be some bias in the phrasing. Populus has not chosen exactly the same list of boroughs for their surveys, making comparison impossible. Heathrow says, in its survey conducted in 10 boroughs, between mid November and mid December 2014 that there was 50% net support for a 3rd runway, against 33% net opposition – from the boroughs of Spelthorne, Richmond Park, Brentford and Isleworth, Feltham & Heston, Windsor, Ealing Central & Acton, Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Slough, Hayes & Harlington, and Twickenham. A survey carried out in 7 boroughs from late February to late March 2014 showed 48% net support, and 34% net oppose.  A Populus survey of 6 boroughs in February to May 2013 showed 46% net support and 43% net opposition. A Populus survey in September 2007 (asking about a short 3rd runway) had 50% net support and 30% net oppose. So there really has not been a lot of change, though there are slight variations in the composition of the figures.


The Councils opposed to a 3rd Heathrow runway (from Teddington & Twickenham Action Group)

Councils For vs. against Heathrow Expansion


Runnymede Council drops its support for Heathrow 3rd runway

At a meeting on Thursday 22nd January, Runnymede Borough Council voted against their previous pro-Heathrow expansion stance. Runnymede has became the first council to change from a position of supporting a new runway at Heathrow. A packed public gallery burst into applause when the council’s Corporate Management Committee voted by six votes to three to change the policy. Many of the residents were from areas that had seen an increase in flight numbers during the recent trials by Heathrow. The Committee argued that the environmental downsides outweighed any economic benefits that Runnymede might get from expansion. Unfortunately the council voted instead to back a 2nd runway at Gatwick. The way the Airports Commission process has been conducted, the impression has been given that there will be a runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick. In reality, it is still very much whether there will be any new runway – so not a binary choice. The vote by Runnymede leaves only two councils, Slough and Spelthorne, as fully behind a Heathrow 3rd runway. The Council meeting and the vote came about due to pressure from local groups, such as Englefield Green and Windsor.

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Council leaders tell Mr Holland-Kaye that he is wrong to presume councils don’t oppose his runway plans

The Leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, has accused the Chief Executive of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, as ‘talking utter nonsense’ in a recent interview regarding the future of the airport. Mr Holland-Kaye said: ‘Historically the five closest boroughs to us have opposed our plans. Now all are either neutral or support us and only Hillingdon opposes our plans now.” Lord True says Mr Holland-Kaye should wake up and realise the opposition to a 3rd Heathrow runway from West London boroughs is stronger now than it has ever been. Lord True, said:“Mr Holland Kaye is talking utter nonsense. When he claims councils near Heathrow are either in favour or neutral about his expansion, it is as if Caesar were claiming Gaul would welcome his legions. Sheer fantasy. Richmond remains implacably opposed to gifting a bigger Heathrow to its wealthy foreign owners at the expense of ordinary Londoners – and we and Hillingdon are certainly not alone. Mr Holland Kaye – wake up!” Leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Govindia has also reminded Heathrow that councils across London and the Home Counties are deeply opposed to a new runway and creation of new flightpaths. He said: “Councils surrounding Heathrow and across London are resolutely opposed to expansion and that is not going to change.”

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Expansion of Heathrow could ‘destroy Windsor’ according to councillor

Another Heathrow runway could ‘destroy Windsor’ according to a Windsor councillor and chairman of the Royal Borough’s Aviation Forum. The comments were made at a meeting of the forum,discussing the Airports Commission’s options for a new south east runway. The councillor said: “If the expansion of Heathrow Airport is given the go ahead, it will destroy Windsor and the reason why people want to come here. It will affect the ability to hold state functions at Windsor Castle and the north-western option will affect Eton….It would see an increased level of noise for our residents and will affect our world heritage sights, which the commission have seemed to overlook.” The Royal Borough of Windsor are now drafting a submission to the Airports Commission. Another councillor said: “The Airports Commission’s paper is one of the biggest things the borough has had to respond to and the implications are enormous.” Another councillor commented that the need for up to 70,800 new homes, for a 3rd runway, would created turmoil and require highly valued green belt land.

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Heathrow 3rd runway would affect south Buckinghamshire, especially Heathrow Hub impact on Iver area

People in south Buckinghamshire are very concerned about the threat of an expanded Heathrow, and the impact it would have on the south of the county. How badly they would be affected depends on whether a 3rd runway was built as Heathrow Airport Ltd wants, to the north west, or an extension of the northern runway, as Heathrow Hub wants. With either they face much more noise, and much more traffic. If the Heathrow Hub design was permitted, it includes plans for a transport hub near Iver (to the north west of the junction of the M25 and the M4.) It would mean building on green belt land between Richings Park and Iver village centre, with access to it from local roads. Iver Parish Council are very concerned about the increased traffic, especially HGVs, which would change Iver massively. They have been given no proper information about how the traffic scheme would work, and there are real fears this would change Iver and Richings Park forever. People in this area will be attending the large rally being held on 3rd March in central London, against a 3rd Heathrow runway. .

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