Sup­port for air­ports but no to third run­way plans

Cam­paign­ers say UK poll shows politi­cians are out of touch

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Salina Pa­tel­tel@trin­i­tymir­

THE leader of an an­tiHeathrow ex­pan­sion cam­paign group has slammed politi­cians for be­ing “out of tune” with the public fol­low­ing a re­cent poll.

The in­de­pen­dent sur­vey by Ip­sos Mori, pub­lished on July 24, re­vealed the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in the UK want to see more air­port ca­pac­ity in the coun­try, but sup­port for a third run­way was the low­est.

With 60% of peo­ple in agree­ment that Bri­tain needs to ei­ther build a new air­port or run­way, a third of peo­ple are against any ex­pan­sion at all.

Of those who favour ex­pan­sion, 30% be­lieve a new air­port should be built, while 24% said Gatwick should be ex­panded by build­ing a sec­ond run­way, and 22% want a third run­way at Heathrow.

How­ever, when those who op­pose all ex­pan­sion are taken into ac­count, sup­port for a third run­way at Heathrow mere 13%.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which op­poses a third run­way, said: “The politi­cians who back Heathrow ex­pan­sion are sim­ply out of tune with public opin­ion.

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“More­over, this in­de­pen­dent poll shows Heathrow-com­mis­sioned polls do not tell the full story.”

En­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns and noise topped the list of peo­ple’s big­gest con­cerns when it comes to air­port ex­pan­sion mak­ing up 69% of the most im­por­tant is­sues when con­sid­er­ing fur­ther air­port ca­pac­ity.

In com­par­i­son, the im­pact of cre­at­ing more jobs and eco­nomic growth struck a chord with only 15% of the peo­ple sur­veyed.

Gideon Skin­ner, head of po­lit­i­cal re­search at Ip­sos MORI, which con­ducted the UK poll, added: “Most Bri­tons want our air­port ca­pac­ity in­creased, but there is no clear con­sen­sus on the best so­lu­tion – remembering that this poll cov­ered the whole coun­try, not just Lon­don and the South East.

“At the mo­ment, the public’s view is dom­i­nated by con­cerns about en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact and noise rather than jobs or cost.”

n CAM­PAIGN: Chair of HACAN, anti noise group, John Stewart takes the podium to dis­cuss noise is­sues and so­lu­tions at a air­craft noise sum­mit at City Hall

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