Mayor Pressurised to Protect Residents from Heathrow

Angie Bray asks Ken Livingstone to help stop proposal

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In a question and answer session at the London Assembly this week, Angie Bray continued to stand up for residents opposed to the expansion of Heathrow.

She asked Ken Livingstone what he is doing for those in West London who will be affected by the increase in traffic. Ms Bray asked the questions at a crucial moment as the consultation on Heathrow's Third Runway starts this month.  

Angie Bray asked Ken Livingstone  what evidence he would be submitting and what role he will be playing as one of London’s key planning decision makers in ensuring that the wishes of Londoners are best served.   The Mayor replied: "I await the publication of the Department for Transport’s Consultation next month. I will then consider the proposals put forward and will respond accordingly in the way that best serves Londoners."  

He continued: "However, I have made my position clear in opposing a Third Runway, and I will continue to play the role that best serves Londoners."

Ms Bray then quoted reports which suggest that the introduction of mixed mode runways at Heathrow could happen as soon as 2009, which is far sooner than originally planned. She asked the Mayor what he is doing to stop this from happening and to protect London residents from this hugely unpopular proposal.

Ken Livingstone replied: "The current arrangement, whereby planes land on one runway until 3pm and then the other afterwards, brings half a days respite for those communities directly under the flight path. Moving to ‘mixed mode’ operation, whereby planes will land on both runways throughout the day will significantly disadvantage these communities and as such I do not support these changes. I would be happy to write to the Aviation Minister confirming my objections to such a change."  

Angie Bray told me:  "I know that Mr. Livingstone is an opponent of further expansion and I hope he will make this very clear during the consultation. I am also pleased he has agreed to write to the Aviation Minister about his concerns, which I share, about a possible change to "mixed mode" use of the runways at Heathrow which could happen far sooner than any third runway and with damaging effect."

November 23, 2007