Heathrow expansion

The London Assembly has announced it will campaign against the expansion of Heathrow airport.

Earlier this week the Cabinet voted in favour of the £14 billion expansion of the airport, which would see a third runway built.

The London Assembly has now officially opposed the expansion of the airport.

It believes fundamental issues like noise pollution and the cost of expansion remain unresolved.

Proposals to build at third runway at Heathrow began in December 2006 when the Department for Transport (DfT) published plans to extend the UK’s biggest airport.

The DfT said the runway would benefit the UK economy but the plans faced strong opposition from environmental campaigners, local communities and politicians.

According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request made to the Civil Aviation Authority 973,000 households around the airport will experience day-time noise by the time the third runway is built in 2050.

Transport for London (TfL) also estimates the costs of surface transport improvements to meet the needs of the expansion have been underestimated by more than £10 billion by the Airports Commission.

A motion proposed by the assembly said it will “reiterate its long-standing opposition to a third runway” and will “campaign to prevent its implementation”.

Liberal Democrat assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, who proposed the motion, said: “One absolute certainty is that a third runway will create noise disturbance for a further 300,000 people and add to higher levels of air pollution in parts of London where air pollution already exceeds illegal levels.

“We can ensure we retain international connections without following the foolish option of the incredibly expensive third Heathrow runway. A third Heathrow runway comes at a huge price that is simply not worth paying for.”

Léonie Cooper, Labour party assembly member, added: “It is clear that the potential costs and risks to Londoners outweigh the projected economic benefits of the expansion- especially when there are still opportunities to be properly explored at other airports in the South East.”