Kelly Accused of Ruthless Spin Over Heathrow Noise

After claiming that noise pollution has dramatically fallen

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A leading aviation campaigner has accused the Transport Secretary of ‘ruthless spin’ after claiming that noise pollution from Heathrow has dramatically fallen.

Speaking at the launch of the government’s long-awaited consultation into plans to expand Heathrow, Ruth Kelly claimed that “the number of people affected in any noise contour has fallen quite dramatically” over the past 20 to 30 years

Responding to the announcement of the Government’s consultation on Heathrow expansion, Hounslow Council’s lead member for aviation, Cllr Barbara Reid said, “I am astonished at the Transport Secretary’s audacity. She us preparing to embark on the biggest programme of airport expansion the UK has ever seen and claims that aircraft noise is on the decline.

“It is obvious to anyone that doubling the capacity of Heathrow will mean more planes, more noise and more pollution.

“These proposals could lead to a plane flying over London every 30 seconds at peak times which will mean more noise and more misery for more people.

“I am astounded at the Transport Secretary’s ruthless spin. How can she claim that the impact of aircraft noise is falling when the government’s own research has shown that over 2 million people will be affected by aircraft noise from Heathrow and the World Development Movement claims that a third runway way will produce as much CO2 per year as Kenya.

“Ruth Kelly seems determined to turn a deaf ear to the additional noise that expansion will bring, even when opposition is so widespread.

“Around 90 per cent of Hounslow residents say ‘no’; nearly 80 per cent of London businesses say ‘no’; the majority of London MPs say ‘no’ and the Mayor of London says ‘no’.

“This consultation lasts 12 weeks. The Transport Secretary may be determined to turn a deaf ear on our concerns but she is about to find out that opposition to expansion is just like Heathrow - very big and very noisy.

“Local people want Heathrow to be an economic and environmental success but the way to achieve that is to make it better not bigger. To claim that it is possible to double the capacity of Heathrow in a sustainable way is environmentally irresponsible.”

November 23, 2007