Letter to PM Challenges Government Rhetoric

Angie Blair tackles policy on 3rd runway

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Angie Bray

Email: angie4ealingacton@gmail.com

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Ealing Lib Dems

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Angie Blair has written the following letter to Tony Blair which we are reproducing here in full:

"Dear Prime Minister,

Proposed third runway at Heathrow airport

"We are writing with regard to the proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport, expressing the serious concerns of many people who live in west and southwest London over the damaging impact it will have on the environment, local air quality and local noise levels.  One of the key issues for local residents is the expected increase in noise pollution, admitted by the Department for Transport (DfT) in their noise assessment of the proposed third runway; “There would inevitably be some people, living close to the new runway and its approach and departure routes, who would suffer an increase in noise”.

"Residents who live under the existing flight path already suffer a reduced quality of life, due to the high frequency of aircraft using Heathrow airport. The noise pollution is unrelenting, with the frequency only abating for a few hours a night, albeit still with some scheduled night flights. An additional runway would further to add to this problem, increasing noise pollution, reducing quality of life and further devaluing properties under the new flight paths. 

"A second serious concern is the impact any expansion of the airport would have on local traffic congestion and air quality. Traffic congestion around the airport is already a major problem, and an increase in capacity would result in an increase in demand that the local traffic infrastructure would be unable to cope with. Local residents anticipate that the congestion will spread onto other local roads, resulting in further declining air quality. 

"Many people, from local politicians to residents, are unclear what measures are planned by the DfT to modernise the road network in the local area to accommodate the increased demand, and whether the favoured solution is a congestion charging scheme, which carries its own substantial body of local opposition. 

"But perhaps what should also be of grave concern to policymakers is the impact this expansion will have on the environment, and the current fight against climate change. It is one thing agreeing that something needs to be done, it is quite another actually implementing policies, which may, in the short term reduce economic productivity, but will take tangible steps towards reducing carbon emissions in the long term. A third runway at Heathrow will substantially increase carbon emissions in the long term, despite the anticipated modernisation of aircraft that are manufactured to achieve greater fuel efficiency. Surely this is directly contrary to the government’s rhetoric on climate change? 

"I strongly urge you to listen to the concerns of people in this part of London, as the impact on their quality of life, and the environment clearly outweighs any economic benefit.

Yours sincerely 
Angie Bray, Conservative Spokesman for Ealing Central and Acton

and also supported by:

Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor

Tony Arbour, London Assembly Member for London South West

Richard Barnes, London Assembly Member for Ealing and Hillingdon

Cllr. Merrick Cockell, Councl Leader, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Nick Hurd, MP for Ruislip-Northwood

Cllr. Edward Lister, Council Leader, London Borough of Wandsworth

Mary Macleod, Conservative Spokesman for Brentford and Isleworth

Cllr. Ray Puddyfoot, Council Leader, London Borough of Hillingdon

Cllr. Barbara Reid, Cabinet Member, Transport, London Borough of Hounslow

lRt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, MP for Kensington and Chelsea

Cllr. Jason Stacey, Council Leader, London Borough of Ealing"

March 3, 2007