Public ‘misled’ over Heathrow pollution
the wool" over the public’s eyes to justify building a third runway at Heathrow.
public were being misled over claims that Heathrow’s expansion would not cause
unlawful and dangerous levels of pollution.
been forced by the scale of the public backlash to postpone her decision on expansion.
It was due this summer, but sections of it are now likely to be rewritten.
proposal and to plans by Nats, the air traffic service, to redraw flight routes
across the country to ease congestion.
future pollution around Heathrow, said a key recommendation to consider a range
of future scenarios was disregarded. He said Kelly’s final conclusion that a
third runway would not cause a significant increase in pollution was unreliable.
not breach European Union pollution limits. "They mustn’t pull the wool over our
eyes," Pilling said last week. "People are much more sophisticated than that.
They [the transport department] need to go back and do some more calculations."
on a set of optimistic assumptions, including the arrival of cleaner engines.
Pilling says that the more pessimistic scenarios were not tested.
you have not looked at all the possible changes that might happen in the future’,"
but they need to spend more time to show there is a very strong chance that this
is the case."
department and BAA, the airports operator, collaborated to "fix" the environmental
figures by selecting the data most likely to get a positive result. (See
University, reinforce concerns raised by the Environment Agency, which has warned
that the department’s case is not "sufficiently robust" to conclude that pollution
levels will not breach the legal limits set by the EU.
in traffic emissions, background air quality and climate change.
about her entire aviation policy, with the National Trust* warning this weekend
that plans to redesign air routes to ease congestion threaten to spoil some of
England’s most tranquil areas, including the Chilterns.
but Tony Burton, the National Trust’s director of stategy and policy, said his
organisation opposed the plans because of the impact on some of its properties
and the damage to people’s enjoyment of the countryside. One new route out of
Luton airport will mean more planes flying over the Chilterns at lower levels.
Luton and London City airports. Some routes are also being changed from Heathrow,
with local councils saying that 40,000 more residents will be affected by extra
traffic routes and for Heathrow expansion. Serge Lourie, leader of Richmond council
and spokesman for the group of councils opposing expansion, said: "The Heathrow
consultation has been botched from start to finish. It is an utter disgrace.
a new consultation and not the sham we’ve seen, in which the transport secretary
announced in advance that she wanted Heathrow expansion."