Neil Keveren set off on 400 mile walk, explaining along the way why there should be NO 3rd Runway

A lively group in Harmondsworth village saw Neil off on his one-man long walk north, to Scotland, as he set off on the first day’s stretch to Chesham. Hillingdon Council Leader, Ray Puddifoot, attended the gathering, and spoke about the significance of Neil’s trip, and the importance of persuading MPs across the country, and particularly the SNP, to vote against the runway. The 54 SNP MPs in the House of Commons are likely to vote, en block, for the runway having been dubiously persuaded to believe in huge benefits it would bring Scotland. Ray said the runway was nonsensical, as well as illegal – in causing breaches of air pollution standards. He said Neil was representing the interests of tens or hundreds of thousands of people, taking his message across the country, that the 3rd Heathrow runway should not be built. Zac Goldsmith also attended the send-off party, saying in the middle ages – to avoid undue bloodshed and loss of men – armies would sent out their best and bravest fighters to do battle on behalf of everyone.  So it is with Neil, courageously setting off to speak up for everyone whose lives would be made worse by the impacts of the runway, and especially those in Harmondworth who face losing their homes, their village and their community, in act of wanton destruction for an unnecessary, and high carbon venture.


The route Neil is taking can be found here 

On Twitter, the walk will be using hashtags #walktoscotland  and #no3rdrunway

Some photos from the gathering to see Neil off on his walk:

Cllr Puddifoot thanking Neil and wishing him well for his walk (with Neil’s daughter’s spectacular plane hat in the foreground)

The village looking particularly beautiful, in front of the pub, with a lovely display of bulbs in front of the supporters gathered to see Neill off

Harmondsworth is a beautiful village, with not only the green in front of the Five Bells pub, but many historic and significant buildings.

Neil and his wife and daughter

Support driver, uncle Ray, and some fellow campaigners who walked the first part of the day’s trip with Neil – as far as Uxbridge

Neil setting off, taking his first steps out of Harmondsworth …. just around 400 miles to go ….

Zac Goldsmith speaking at the send off, about the importance of Neil taking the battle across the country on behalf of so many – who face being badly impacted by a 3rd runway.

Zac Goldsmith and council leader Ray Puddifoot amongst well-wishers at send off for local man’s walk to Scotland

4.4.2017  (Stop Heathrow Expansion)

Harmondsworth resident Neil Keveren set-off on Tuesday to walk 400 miles to Edinburgh in his effort to raise awareness with politicians about why building a third runway is a bad idea (1). Politicians, residents and campaigners gathered outside Neil’s home on Harmondsworth Village Green to wish him well for the 23-day expedition that will see him pass through many regions in England and Scotland.

Zac Goldsmith, amongst the well-wishers, said: “Neil is on the front line in the battle against Heathrow expansion and speaks for residents of a community that will be bulldozed if the airport expands. I wish him well as he meets MPs from Hillingdon to Scotland to persuade them why a third runway is no more in their interests than those of his family and friends.”

Zac told Neil; “Over a million owe you for what you’ve done for the community and what you will be doing over the next few weeks”

Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “I have led Hillingdon Council for 17 years and throughout that time the lives of thousands of residents have been continually blighted by a series of failed proposals to expand Heathrow.

As the High Court judge said in 2010 when the last proposal was put forward it was “untenable in both law and common sense ” and given that the current proposal is far worse I have little doubt that it will be rejected by the courts.

Neil Keveren has my full support for his venture to bring this unacceptable and unnecessary destruction of communities and the threat to the health and wellbeing of many thousands of people to the attention of a wider audience. ”

Jackie Clark, Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “We are supporting Neil every step of the way and our community are grateful for the what he is doing in the fight to save our villages from Heathrow’s bulldozers.”

Neil Keveren, Harmondsworth resident born in the neighbouring village of Sipson, said: “During this walk, I hope to persuade politicians across the UK that a third runway at Heathrow will not benefit regions across the UK, despite what Heathrow’s PR machine may tell you. I am looking forward to walking through dozens and dozens of places in the UK over the coming weeks, from Milton Keynes and Lincoln, to York and Edinburgh.”

The route can be found here and covers places within Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland, Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh (2).

Neil will provide daily updates of his progress and any highlights of that particular day.

Updates will be on the Stop Heathrow Expansion website 

Further updates will be available on the Stop Heathrow Expansion twitter page @StopHeathrowExp.


Builder to walk from Harmondsworth to Holyrood to persuade Scots to ditch Heathrow

4th April

A 55-year-old family man from Harmondsworth has embarking on a 400-mile walk to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, where he hopes to speak to the First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon about their support for Heathrow expansion.

At 11am on 4 April, local builder Neil Keveren laced up his walking boots and headed off from The Five Bells in Harmondsworth to begin his quest to discover why the Scottish National Party (SNP) is backing a third runway with its destruction of several villages and displacement of thousands of people.

The walk will be an estimated 390 miles and should finish on Thursday 27 April at the Scottish Parliament. There will be a theme for each day and a number of campaigners and politicians will join Neil for sections along the way.

The route covers places within Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland, Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh.

It’s an ambitious quest and SHE  (Stop Heathrow Expansion) will be keeping in touch with Neil and reporting on his progress through the website and social media.

Residents and members of a number of the other campaigns against the 3rd runway came to see Neil off, express their appreciation for what he is embarking on, and give him a good send off.

Neil, who was born in the neighbouring village of Sipson and has lived in the area all his life, hopes that his walk will highlight the reasons a third runway should not go ahead. As well as being a non-athlete, Neil is a bit of a technophobe but is preparing to face another challenge – daily updates by devices other than his usual elderly-but-functional mobile phone.

The SHE team will be giving updates on the Stop Heathrow Expansion twitter page @StopHeathrowExp.


Anybody who would like to join Neil for a part of the walk, should email or call Neil on 07850 904677.

One man’s 400-mile, 3 week, walk London to Scotland, to save his village from Heathrow bulldozers

On Tuesday 4th April Hillingdon Council leader Ray Puddifoot and others well-wishers will gather in Harmondsworth at 11am as local man Neil Keveren sets off on a marathon 400-mile walk to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to ask Nicola Sturgeon why the SNP is backing a 3rd runway at Heathrow and destruction of his home and village in the process. Neil aims to finish his walk on Thursday 27th April at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. There will be a theme for each day and a number of campaigners and politicians will join Neil for sections of the walk. The route can be found here and covers places within Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland, Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh. Neil Keveren, who was born in Harmondsworth’s neighbouring village of Sipson, has lived in the area all his life; he hopes that his walk will highlight the reasons a third runway should not go ahead. Keveren, who built up a successful building business in the area, said: “I am not one of nature’s natural walkers but I felt I had to do this for my family, my village and the wider campaign.” Neil will also use Facebook Live to provide daily updates of his progress and any highlights of that particular day. Further updates will be available on the Stop Heathrow Expansion twitter page @StopHeathrowExp.

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Heathrow expansion wins backing of Scottish government

Support from governing SNP means all 56 Westminster MPs likely to back Commons vote

OCTOBER 10, 2016

by Jim Pickard in London and Mure Dickie in Edinburgh (FT)
The Scottish government has backed a third runway at Heathrow airport, saying expansion of London’s main hub would deliver jobs and other economic benefits north of the English border.

Heathrow has long sought the support of the governing Scottish National party and Monday’s announcement is likely to mean its 56 MPs at Westminster will back the airport’s expansion plans.

The SNP has previously said it would remain neutral between Heathrow and Gatwick’s rival expansion plan as long as the winner protected the interests of Scotland.

The government is expected to put the Heathrow third runway to a vote in the House of Commons within days having established that it is likely to secure the backing of MPs.

Theresa May will hold a meeting of the aviation subcommittee within days, where ministers will debate the airport expansion options for the south-east of England. The choice is between a third runway at Heathrow, the extension of the airport’s northern runway or a second runway at Gatwick.

The prime minister is now widely expected within Whitehall to authorise the third Heathrow runway option, which was backed by last year’s independent Davies aviation commission. “All the momentum does now seem to be going in one direction,” said one official.

Downing Street has also discussed launching a separate review of where to build another, second runway in the longer term to improve airport capacity.

Keith Brown, Scotland’s economy secretary, told BBC Scotland that the UK government should approve Heathrow’s expansion “as quickly as possible”.

Building the new runway could create up to 16,000 new jobs in Scotland, the BBC quoted the Scottish government as saying. It would mean £200m in construction spending in Scotland and £10m for new domestic routes, with a commitment to consider using Scotland’s Prestwick Airport as a logistics hub for the expansion project.

Mr Brown commended the Gatwick proposal but said Heathrow offered “the best deal for Scotland”. He added: “Building a third runway at Heathrow provides the most significant benefits to the country’s economy and connectivity.”

He waved aside complaints by environmentalists that the airport’s expansion will increase air pollution and undermine effort to cut climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.

Failure to maintain a competitive international hub in the UK would just increase reliance on the most environmentally damaging short-haul flights, he said.

In a statement Gatwick expressed “surprise” that the ruling SNP had backed Heathrow and said that option would “undermine Scotland’s connections with the world, making it more dependent on London and the south east of England”.

The statement also expressed confidence that expansion “will happen at Gatwick”. At the weekend it was reported that Gatwick could go ahead and build a second runway in Sussex even if the government picks Heathrow for expansion.

But Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick, refused to say whether the project would go ahead — without government backing — during an interview on Monday morning with the BBC’s Today programme.

Chris Grayling, transport secretary, told the Tory conference last week that the issue was “right at the top of my in-tray” and would be part of the government’s attempt to take advantage of various post-Brexit opportunities. “By building another runway in the south-east we will send a signal to the world that Britain is open for business,” he said.

The FT recently revealed that ministers have carried out detailed calculations about how each of the three proposals would fare in a “free vote” in the House of Commons.

Theresa May should seize the opportunity to increase UK airport capacity, writes Sebastian Payne

They believe that MPs would not back Gatwick expansion and that Heathrow would win a vote with a “slam dunk” despite opposition from some senior figures in the Conservative party.

Heathrow’s management has likewise estimated that fewer than 50 MPs from the two main parties would vote against the project alongside the Liberal Democrats.

Putting the issue to a free vote in the Commons — where most Labour and Tory MPs support the project — would be a way to suspend cabinet responsibility and allow critics to vote against or abstain.

The £16.8bn Heathrow scheme faces opposition from some high-profile politicians including Boris Johnson, foreign secretary, Justine Greening, education secretary, and Sadiq Khan, mayor of London.