MPs highlight pollution threat
Impact of a third runway and HS2
THE “disastrous impact” of air pollution was flagged up by two of Hillingdon’s MPs at a parliamentary debate last week.
Nick Hurd, Tory MP for Ruislip, Northwood, Pinner, and Labour’s John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington) warned of the consequences of a third Heathrow runway and the impact of the HS2 high speed rail project.
Speaking at the Westminster Hall debate, Mr Hurd said: “The plans for the construction of HS2 will increase emissions of the most dangerous pollutants in my constituency by 40%. Is that not gross irresponsibility?
“We are being asked to host multiple construction sites, some of which will be in existence for 10 years. They will flood narrow suburban roads with HGVs.”
He said roads are “already clogged” and are surrounded by highdensity housing and schools, adding: “The impact will be disastrous.”
Mr McDonnell said he supported the principle of high-speed rail, but added: “We have discovered that HS2 would generate more traffic in our area, rather than reducing it and overcoming some problems at Heathrow.”
HS2 plans will increase HGV traffic on Swakeleys roundabout by 1,672 movements per day and on Harvil Road, there will be 1,360 new HGV movements per day.
Mr Hurd has called on the Government to ‘bury’ the issue by extend a proposed tunnel so that it crosses the Colne valley.
He said: “It can be done technically, and the London borough of Hillingdon’s report shows that it can be done for more or less the same price as the existing proposals.”
Both MPs stood shoulder to shoulder in opposition to a third runway at Heathrow, with Mr McDonnell warning that an expanded Heathrow would “never be able to comply with air pollution limits” because of the road and air traffic.
The Labour MP criticised planning decisions supported by Boris Johnson, in his capacity as London Mayor.
He said: “The first example is the Conway bitumen plant development in my constituency. Residents wake in the morning and are nauseous and sick due to the overpowering smell of bitumen.”
Mr McDonnell is concerned about the location of a new supermarket development in Hayes being too close to the plant.
The House of Commons debate took place on the morning of June 9.
n SPEAK UP: John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington. Below, Nick Hurd, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner