Heathrow can only ever be part-time

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - NAME AND AD­DRESS SUP­PLIED PHIL RUM­SEY Via email BERNARD FA­GIN Avon­dale Drive, Hayes

RE: Crit­i­cisms fly at would-be MP Boris (Gazette, Septem­ber 17) MR ROB Gray, cam­paign co-or­di­na­tor for the pro Heathrow Ex­pan­sion Group, com­ments that lo­cal res­i­dents ‘must be rub­bing their eyes in dis­be­lief ’.

Mr Gray seems to be quite adept at ig­nor­ing the facts.

Sir John Ran­dall was op­posed to Heathrow ex­pan­sion and fought elec­tions on this pol­icy, giv­ing him a majority of 11,000.

In the most com­pre­hen­sive opin­ion poll held in the con­stituency, 66 per cent were op­posed to a third run­way.

Lord Foster, the dis­tin­guished air­port ar­chi­tect, re­cently de­scribed a third run­way at Heathrow as a quick-fix so­lu­tion.

Heathrow is a part-time air­port, closed at night, be­cause it is fly­ing over a densely pop­u­lated area. This would re­main the case if a third run­way were to be built. It would be an un­der-used as­set, closed for almost a third of the time, out­dated by the time it is built in 2024 and fur­ther ca­pac­ity would be re­quired.

The only place a four-run­way, 24/7 hub air­port can be built is east of London. In the end common sense will pre­vail; it is the only so­lu­tion to the lack of air­port ca­pac­ity in the south-east.

Had it not have been for the in­tran­si­gence first of BAA and now Heathrow Air­port Ltd in op­pos­ing the Thames Hub, con­struc­tion would have started long ago. de­stroys his ar­gu­ment. As­sum­ing that Heathrow doesn’t get a third run­way, if it were to close, it would take at least 20 years for that to hap­pen.

The sec­ond point is that the land cov­ered by Heathrow at the mo­ment would, in the fu­ture, pro­vide in­dus­try and hous­ing of a bet­ter qual­ity.

The bal­ance of Mr Gray’s ar­gu­ment, as usual, does not take into ac­count the in­creased pol­lu­tion, noise and traf­fic af­fect­ing our res­i­dents.

It is easy to say th­ese is­sues can be re­solved, but that can­not be proved. In the pre­vi­ous 10 years, pol­lu­tion has not de­creased in spite of new air­craft com­ing into op­er­a­tion. With a third run­way, the num­ber of flights will in­crease again and, even tak­ing into ac­count new air­craft be­ing in­tro­duced, the most likely out­come is still high lev­els of pol­lu­tion, noise and traf­fic. This equates to more cases of early death for lo­cal res­i­dents. The fi­nal point is on in­fra­struc­ture. We are crit­i­cally short of pri­mary schools, yet Heathrow’s plan is to close the schools at Har­mondsworth and Sip­son.

We are short on hous­ing, yet Heathrow plans to de­stroy a num­ber of qual­ity houses, num­ber­ing be­tween 550 and ex­cess of 1,000.

With very lit­tle land avail­able in Hilling­don, does this mean more build­ing on green belt land or will peo­ple have to move away from the area and lose their jobs?

No won­der Mr Gray’s com­ments are one-sided as he ob­vi­ously does not want Back Heathrow to be as­so­ci­ated with death and de­struc­tion on such a large scale. stems from the very ob­vi­ous un­equal dis­tri­bu­tion of the award-win­ning sites through­out the bor­ough.

If my cal­cu­la­tions have not failed me, the north of the bor­ough col­lected seven awards, whereas the south of the bor­ough col­lected just two.

I feel that it is no co­in­ci­dence that the vast majority of the present Hilling­don Coun­cil cab­i­net rep­re­sent wards in th­ese aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing sites within their re­gion, whereas in the south of the bor­ough, in ar­eas such as Hayes, we have streets and open spa­ces lit­tered with spit and garbage.

This is a sit­u­a­tion that the present coun­cil cab­i­net seem to support, even en­cour­age, hav­ing seized a huge chunk of lake farm by the most du­bi­ous of means to build a school that will hold the off­spring of those who are the main of­fend­ers, thus en­sur­ing that this neg­a­tive cy­cle con­tin­ues.

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