The True Cost of a New Runway at Heathrow

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The True Cost of a New Runway at Heathrow

There is a link to the survey on the Council’s website, this closes at midnight on 30 September, so please do make your opinion on this matter count!

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OliviaP-100x100I want to wake up to birdsong instead of noisy flights.

In Hersham we have always been subjected to the rumblings of planes overhead. However this noise has increased over recent years and in summer can be unbearable.  More people are already affected by noise at Heathrow than any other airport in Europe.

Do we really want to lose our identity as a quiet suburban village?

I want our children to breathe clean air.

Pollution is above EU safe limits on many Elmbridge high streets including Walton on Thames. Thousands of people die each year from pollution, in 2010, in Elmbridge alone 63 deaths were due to air pollution. How can we justify increasing the risk to the health of our family and friends?

I don’t want our roads to come to a standstill.

Many of our local bus routes are at risk of being axed, including the 555 to Heathrow. There is no easy train route to Heathrow, so with public transport unviable people will turn to cars and taxis. Consequently, airport traffic through Hersham will increase. This will be even worse if the airport gets expanded.

I want my family to have a roof over their heads.

Thousands of homes are to be demolished to make way for the new runway. All the residents will be looking for suitable homes nearby, putting strain on villages like Hersham. It is hard enough for kids growing up here to find a home in the village without this added pressure on the housing crisis.

But what about the economy?

London is already the best-connected city in the world. The soonest that the runway would be needed is 2030 but with new technologies such as Skype, there is no guarantee that air travel will continue to increase at this rate. As a taxpayer, you’ll be fronting the cost for Heathrow expansion. For instance, TFL estimate that the transport infrastructure alone will cost up to £20billion of public money.

But I want to have my family holiday!

At the moment 70% of flights are taken by 15% of people. This means that if you only fly a couple of times a year you are not the reason Heathrow is asking to expand. Most flights are taken by a minority of frequent flyers – if they cut down to your level of air travel Heathrow would be no where near full capacity.

You might enjoy having the airport nearby, it doesn’t mean you should go along with the proposed expansion.

 

OliviaP-100x100

Olivia is a blogger and social commentator who lives in Hersham. She has a Masters degree in Human Rights and International Relations. With a strong interest in politics and equality, Olivia has worked with a number of NGOs and recently stood as The Green Party’s general election candidate for Esher and Walton. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her painting in the garden or head-banging in a moshpit at gigs and festivals!
You can read Olivia’s blog here: esherandwaltongreens

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Nigel Logo-Rev1Elmbridge Borough Council have established a Heathrow Expansion Task Group which has local Councillor Christine Elmer as Chairman.

It is still collecting evidence and their report will be coming to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 20 October. (it will be public one week before the meeting).

The survey on the Council’s website is open until midnight on 30 September so please do make your opinion on this matter count!

http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/news/proposed-expansion-of-heathrow/

In a recent press release Elmbridge Borough Council reported:

As part of its assessment on the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport, Elmbridge Borough Council held a ‘Scrutiny in a day’ meeting on Friday 16 September at the Civic Centre on Esher High Street.

Chaired by Councillor Christine Elmer, the aim of the meeting was to investigate and probe all the arguments surrounding the proposed expansion of Heathrow.  Recognising that there could be significant benefits for Elmbridge residents but that these need to be considered against environmental, transport infrastructure and safety impacts, the Councillors heard from a range of stakeholders including Heathrow Ltd, Local Authorities Aircraft Noise Council (LAANC) who updated on air quality and noise concerns, the Council’s Housing Strategy and Enabling Manager and Economic Development Officer, as well as representations from private sector companies in the Borough.

Residents Action Group Elmbridge (RAGE) discussed their views on the proposed expansion of Heathrow with the Councillors at a meeting on Thursday 15 September.

Councillor Christine Elmer is eager for Elmbridge residents to have their say:

“Hearing from the various organisations, groups and Council officers had been very valuable but we still want to hear from the residents of Elmbridge. I encourage everyone to complete the online survey and tell us what you think of the proposed expansion of Heathrow. The survey is available on the Elmbridge Borough Council website until midnight on 30 September.”

Commenting on the ‘Scrutiny in a day’ meeting Leader of Elmbridge Borough Council, Councillor Stuart Selleck said:
“It is essential that we as a Council consider and investigate all aspects of the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport and these meetings have provided essential information in order to help the Group with its report.”

He continued; “I can assure residents that we will always work towards what is best for them and the Borough and irrespective of the Government’s final decision that we will continue to monitor the impact of Heathrow on the Borough and hold the authorities to account especially in relation to noise, night flights and flight paths.”
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1 comment

  1. ReplyKate

    Hi Olivia,
    I enjoyed reading your blog post, I think you make some good points and some good arguments. A couple of points of criticisms I’d like to make (not trolling!) – you need to make sure your facts are right before submitting heartfelt appeals. It’s actually 260 homes that are planned to be demolished, not thousands. Also, I’m at a loss to see how traffic would increase, because Hersham is not directly on the way to Heathrow from anywhere except Hersham itself – the only extra traffic I can see would be people from Hersham commuting to the airport who have new jobs working there as a result of the expansion. However, I do see your point about air and noise pollution – both are pretty bad already, and are linked to all sorts of health conditions. I’m still really on the fence about the whole thing.
    Looking forward to reading your next post 🙂
    Kate

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