Heathrow articles

Reporting back - autumn 2018

In Caroline's latest newsletter, she discusses:

  • The need to push on with pedestrianising Oxford Street, fighting back against Westminster Council's obstructions
  • The dedicated youth workers we need in A&E departments to tackle knife crime and help victims
  • The fight against the noisy, polluting and unnecessary third runway at Heathrow
  • Making the case against Brexit and for the benefits the EU has brought London

Read Caroline's newsletter here.

Why Heathrow deserves a more thorough debate

Writing for Liberal Democrat Voice, Caroline points out that the issues around the third runway at Heathrow have not been properly discussed, and that the campaign against it needs to go on.

So let’s be absolutely clear, despite the thumping vote in favour of a third Heathrow runway the arguments against a third Heathrow have not been addressed

Many of the arguments in favour are outdated, most notably the obsession with hub airports.

High Court pollution ruling strengthens the case against a third Heathrow runway

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting the today’s High Court ruling that the Government’s plan to tackle the UK’s air pollution is illegal - the second time in 18 months that the Government have lost in court on this issue - said:

“The Government is clearly failing to cut illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in the ‘shortest possible time’.

The case against Heathrow expansion is as strong as when Theresa May and David Cameron made it

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the Government’s intention to support a third Heathrow runway, said:

"After an incredibly expensive lobbying campaign the Government has ‎foolishly accepted the myth that what is good for the overseas owners of Heathrow is also good for the UK economy.

"The reality is that airports such as Luton and Stansted have spare capacity. And in time HS2 will also allow easy access ‎to Birmingham airport for many Londoners.

Decision on Heathrow is needed now

Commenting on reports of a potential six month delay on a decision over Heathrow, Liberal Democrat London Mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon said:

"Londoners opposed to expansion are fed up of being lied to. A decision is needed now.

“Heathrow is not, and never will be, the place to expand airport capacity and the sooner this Tory government accepts that, the sooner we can get on with developing a sensible aviation policy for the UK."

Third Heathrow runway proposal - a long delayed report with outdated arguments

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the support for a third Heathrow runway by the Davies airport commission, said:

“This much delayed report simply repeats many outdated arguments in opting for a third Heathrow runway.

“However many conditions are set ultimately a third Heathrow runway will have devastating consequences for a large section of London in terms of noise and increased air pollution.

Against Heathrow expansion

Caroline Pidgeon AM joined Vince Cable MP speaking at a rally organised by HACAN against expansion at Heathrow on Tuesday 3rd March.

"Given that there are 725,000 people affected by noise from Heathrow – no other airport in Europe comes close to this figure. AND a new runway would mean an additional 150,000 people under the flight path. It is simply unthinkable that a third runway could be built at Heathrow" commented Caroline.

Other key messages from Caroline's speech include:

"Existing capacity in the south east must be used more effectively. In summer 2012, 47% of runway slots at Stansted weren’t used, 51% at Luton, and 12% at Gatwick. Instead of a new runway at Heathrow, we should be prioritising improved rail links to the airports that already have spare capacity. It’s good to see that the line to Stansted will be four-tracked in the not too distant future."

"Even at Heathrow, though it is full, we know the terminals can handle a further 20 million passengers a year. Heathrow could look to shift to more long-haul flights or larger aircraft to increase passengers."

Assembly rejects Heathrow expansion

Despite opposition from the Conservatives, the London Assembly has voted to reaffirm its opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport and suggest that more use could be made of spare capacity at other airports serving the South East. It was reacting to the interim report published by Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission and the options proposed for expanding Heathrow and Gatwick.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who proposed the motion, said: “I am really disappointed to see Heathrow back on the table. Airport capacity in London is currently under-used, in fact some London airports have more than half of their runway slots free. Rather than inflict further misery on the residents of West London, the Davies Commission should rule out expansion of Heathrow and focus on better use of capacity at other South East airports.”

Commercial lobbying, not common sense is leading the aviation debate

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the proposed recommendations from Sir Howard Davies on expanding airport aviation, said:

“For the Davies Commission to advocate a third Heathrow runway in its proposed options means that it lacks any credibility in going forward.

“There is a great deal of spare aviation capacity in London and the South East. By showing so little interest in an intelligent use of this spare capacity the Davies inquiry has totally lost its way.”

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