A £14billion vanity project
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