Campaigners claim more are ‘in favour of a third runway’
Group challenges MPs’ numbers
A PRO-HEATHROW expansion group have accused Boris Johnson of “deliberately overstating the level of opposition to a third runway”.
The Back Heathrow campaign say they have obtained “shock figures” which reveal fresh doubts about the scale of opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport, despite claims by the Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP as well as Zac Goldsmith MP.
Just TEN people are behind 13,055 of the noise complaints and the figures show that a total of 1,813 people made 27,339 complaints.
In Boris Johnson’s constituency, Uxbridge and South Ruislip, seven people complained.
These figures show the complaint statistics from April to June 2015, which Back Heathrow say “reveals a startling portrait of the true number of people affected by noise”.
Mr Johnson reiterated his anti-third runway stance in a Telegraph column, stating: “It is incredible that we might be on the verge of taking a shameful and above all short-termist decision about where to put a new runway in the South East.”
He added: “And the environmental damage is massive – another 250,000 people afflicted by noise pollution, taking the total to one million.
“No other society contemplating such step backwards.”
There are currently 725,000 people significantly affected by noise from aircraft using Heathrow, according to figures from the European Commission.
Mr Goldsmith previously claimed that the figure would increase to over a million with a third runway, but bosses at Heathrow claim it would actually fall due to a combination of quieter planes and other changes like steeper flight paths.
Back Heathrow campaign co-ordinator Rob Gray said: “Zac Goldsmith and Boris Johnson have grossly overstated the opposition to Heathrow expansion.
“They are wildly out of touch on this issue as is a all the evidence points to majority support in local communities and across the UK for a new runway.”
John Stewart, Chair of Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN), disagreed with the proHeathrow campaigner’s claims.
He said: “Zac and Boris have not plucked the 725,000 figure out of the air.
“It is the official European Commission figure. It puts Heathrow in a noise league of its own. 28% of all people affected by aircraft noise right across Europe live under the Heathrow flight paths.
“Back Heathrow knows full well that it is a major problem for London and the South East.”
n GOOD OR BAD?: Pro-Heathrow campaigner Rob Gray, left, believes the number of people opposed to expansion has been ‘grossly overstated’ while John Stewart of anti-Heathrow group HACAN, right, says the figures have not been plucked out of the air