The wrong place for third run­way

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

I AGREE with Dave Robins’ let­ter in the Uxbridge Gazette “Spec­u­la­tion in air pol­lu­tion re­port” on Oc­to­ber 19.

In this he pointed out that a re­cent study say­ing that a third Heathrow run­way should go ahead was flawed. The re­searchers at Cam­bridge Univer­sity said they thought in the fu­ture traf­fic might one day give off less pol­lu­tion, so on that ba­sis they ruled that the ex­tra pol­lu­tion from ex­pand­ing Heathrow Air­port would not mat­ter. The study mea­sured poi­sonous ni­tro­gen diox­ide (NO2) lev­els in and around the air­port. It then used mod­el­ling to pre­dict what might hap­pen in the fu­ture. But the Avi­a­tion En­vi­ron­ment Fed­er­a­tion said the re­search was “highly spec­u­la­tive” and there is no guar­an­tee air pol­lu­tion would fall. They said “There just isn’t ev­i­dence to sug­gest that’s go­ing to hap­pen.”

A past re­port “Emis­sions Im­pos­si­ble” said thou­sands of peo­ple around Heathrow are ex­posed to un­healthy high air pol­lu­tion which break EU lim­its.

Heathrow air­port is in the wrong place for a third run­way with ap­proach flight paths low over Lon­don’s densely pop­u­lated suburbs. Over a mil­lion peo­ple are af­fected by noise, pol­lu­tion and an in­creased risk of a crash dur­ing take-off or land­ing makes it un­ac­cept­able.

It would only take one crash – heaven for­bid – to change at­ti­tudes, but by then it would be too late. We will sub­ject Lon­don to over­fly­ing, de­stroyed vil­lages and years of chaos on the busiest sec­tion of the M25. Some favour build­ing a Thames-Med­way air­port as the area has mod­ern road and rail links to the nearby M2 and High Speed Chan­nel Link. Un­like Heathrow, it would pro­vide an ap­proach over wa­ter.

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