A £14bil­lion van­ity pro­ject

Harefield Gazette - - YOUR SAY -

On 16 May 2017 Hilling­don res­i­dents voted against a third run­way at Heathrow air­port. In an­swer to a ques­tion of the third run­way be­ing built 66% or 53,235 per­sons voted against the pro­posal. Some 34% or 27,377 voted for the pro­posal.

In an­swer to the ques­tion of be­ing in favour of more flights into and out of Heathrow 66.3% or 53, 342 voted against this and 33.7% or 27,115 voted in favour of this pro­posal. The sit­u­a­tion among res­i­dents of the bor­ough ap­pears un­changed now.

Even though the Gazette front page re­cently an­nounced 100,000 house­hold­ers were in favour of a third run­way.

This is def­i­nitely fake news.

How­ever, par­lia­ment voted in favour of a third run­way last week with­out the vote of lo­cal Uxbridge MP, Boris John­son, who was ve­he­mently op­posed to a third run­way. He was out of the coun­try when the vote passed by a ma­jor­ity of 296 votes (415 yes to 119 no).

This £14 bil­lion van­ity pro­ject is set to hap­pen by 2026. In this coun­try the Cross­rail pro­ject and HS2 projects are set to add even more to this big na­tional fi­nan­cial bur­den. The num­ber of ex­tra flights a day at Heathrow will num­ber 700. Depart­ment of Trans­port es­ti­mate that 973,000 peo­ple will be af­fected.

John Stewart of Ha­can, the run­way op­po­si­tion group, says the pro­ject will cre­ate a ‘Tsunami of noise’. Hilling­don coun­cil is op­posed to the pro­ject.

Some say ex­pan­sion will cre­ate 114,000 ex­tra jobs. But I can­not find sub­stance for this claim. What kinds of jobs will be cre­ated? What about the vil­lages of Sip­son, Har­mondswoth and Longford in the shadow of the air­port? Then there are the ob­vi­ous health risks of noise and deaths due to air pol­lu­tion. The lat­ter has been es­ti­mated at about 9,000 peo­ple per year.

So in the fi­nal anal­y­sis, do the peo­ple who live near the air­port, and on the flght­paths in the neigh­bour­ing ar­eas of Chiswick, Oster­ley Park, Brent­ford and He­ston, mat­ter less than the MPs who voted in favour of air­port ex­pan­sion?

I know it is not en­tirely a done deal. But per­haps the le­gal chal­lenges to all of this should also en­com­pass a peo­ple’s vote on the mat­ter. Ian Herne Her­cies Road Uxbridge

Boris John­son MP ar­rives at Heathrow af­ter a brief visit to Afghanistan meant he missed the par­lia­men­tary vote on the air­port’s ex­pan­sion

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