Hoon exit: ‘time for Heathrow rethink’

15.6.2009   (eGov monitor – London Borough of Hounslow)

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon’s resignation provides an opportunity for the
Government to rethink its policy towards Heathrow expansion, according to the
2M Group.

He is succeeded by Lord Adonis, formerly a junior transport minister.

Hounslow Council’s leader, Cllr Peter Thompson, speaking on behalf of 2M said:

"All the local councils, residents organisations, environmental groups and business
leaders who lined up to tell Geoff Hoon he was wrong about building a new airport
the size of Gatwick at Heathrow will welcome his going.

"Lord Adonis now has the chance to draw a line under the Hoon era and take a
long, hard look at just how a third runway squares with the Government’s key policies
on climate change.

"We know Lord Adonis is enthusiastic about high speed rail, but we have to get
him to see that simply building a fast line to Heathrow will only increase demand
for air travel when we should be putting in place a national network that provides
real alternatives to short haul flights."

"We will be writing to Lord Adonis and seeking an early meeting.     It would be
a tragedy if a new transport secretary simply meant business as usual.   Now is
the time to reassess the environmental and economic case for a third runway and
compare this against the benefits from investment in a high speed rail network
linking England and Scotland."

The 2M Group is an all-party alliance of 24 local authorities concerned at the
environmental impact of Heathrow expansion on their communities. The group represents
more than 5 million people.

A core group of 2M councils is currently seeking judicial review of the Government’s
decision to expand Heathrow.     The case is backed by the Mayor of London, Transport
for London and environmental groups including Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund
and the Campaign for Protection of Rural England.

The full membership of 2M comprises the London Boroughs of Brent, Camden, Ealing,
Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington,
Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Reading, Richmond,
Sutton, Southwark and Wandsworth, the boroughs of Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead,
Wycombe and South Bucks District Council.


Find out more at http://www.2MGroup.org.uk.