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EGAG response to Transport Select Committee re proposed Heathrow expansion

25/03/2018

Dear Ms Greenwood,
 
Thank you and your team for the work on the TSC and for your final report.
 
We were disappointed with your conclusion to support a third runway at Heathrow which we felt ran contrary to the evidence given to your committee.
 
We were slightly encouraged that you have recommended some conditions, which we believe, are sensible and at least go a small way to balance the power of the airline sector and its powerful interests with those of communities being overflown who now face a very worrying future. However the track record of Heathrow is that unless robust safeguards are enshrined in law then they will be watered down and largely not implemented. There is a conflict of interest between the airline industry’s commercial objectives and those of the environment, noise, air pollution, and community interests.
 
We also remained unconvinced that the proposals at Heathrow will not result in a large deficit that the public purse will have to pick up and that the infrastructure costs will escalate and be a major burden to the exchequer. Within your report there is ample evidence that this is likely to be the case.
 
We were also disappointed that the lack of detail on where new flight paths are planned, how roads and surface transport would be implemented, and the unclear and challenged metrics for pollution on which the Heathrow case has been made.
 
Overall we continue to feel helpless against the leviathan of vested interests and had hoped that your committee recognised that worry. We would urge you and your committee members to press the government and their political parties to give your recommendations the force of statute, which in our view, if adhered to will make the third runway at Heathrow undeliverable.
 
With best wishes,
 
Bob McLellan.
(On behalf of the Englefield Green Action Group)