Apparently, this time around, too few of us are complaining at the new runway in review for Heathrow. A mix of resignation and apathy at the Government U-turn. The research says that we feel shell-shocked and powerless to effect change. The thing is though, Heathrow’s expansion doesn’t make much sense and will make Central/West London less fun to live in. So if you don’t feel smothered by the apathy write to TFL.
This is what I wrote:
I would like to lodge a formal objection to your plans to build a third runway at Heathrow.
I live in Chiswick and the noise levels with aircraft at or below 2000 agl will be far in excess of the 55 dB threshold. Why would you want to deafen millions of people and blight a large part of one of the worlds greatest cities?
In addition the pollution levels will be significantly increased exposing millions of people to a surge in cardio respiratory diseases. In response to this, the NPS have claimed that there will be ‘mitigating measures’ but they’ve been woefully vague and general in nature. Obviously, they’ve opted for marketing and presentation because you can’t mitigate for carbon particles falling from the sky. Increasing the burden on the NHS and reducing quality of life.
Locally, we’ve had a plethora of new blocks and developments in the area increasing the traffic to breaking point. Adding further Heathrow traffic will both increase pollution and decrease quality of life even further.
With the economic argument The Davies Commission report predicts the economic benefits of a third runway at Heathrow to be around £130bn, with costs of £17.6bn. However deducting the additional £20bn of possible surface access costs (per TfL estimates)reduces the net benefit to some £92.4bn, compared with a net £80bn benefit for expanding Gatwick. The difference between the two options of £12.4bn is much smaller than the difference of £32.0bn predicted by the Davies Commission, thus considerably reducing the validity of the economic case for a third runway at Heathrow.
Both the Davies Commission and the Government assume that the airport (ie the private sector) would pay for both the costs of building the new runway and the extra costs of surface access directly attributable to having a third runway. The latter, according to TfL could amount to up to£18bn compared with a Heathrow estimate of £5bn, of which Heathrow says it will contribute only £1.1bn. I question whether adequate surface access will be built, and am concerned about the possible effect on public transport and traffic congestion in west London.
Lastly, the government pledged that this would never happen. Which makes them dishonest and dishonourable.