Heathrow Airport has responded to Hounslow Council’s submission to its consultations by insisting that bigger is better for the airport and dismissing concerns about noise, air quality and transport access.
The Council has submitted its feedback to Heathrow Airport’s two consultations regarding the proposal for a new Northwest Runway at Heathrow; the first on the detail of the expansion on site and the second on changes to airspace management.
They have continued to support a ‘better not bigger’ policy saying that while they want the airport to be successful as it plays a vital role in the success of the borough they are opposed to a bigger Heathrow, either by additional flights, addition of a third runway or a relaxation on runway operations and night flights.
A Heathrow spokesperson said, “Heathrow’s expansion plans are the result of extensive consultation and a firm belief that making the airport bigger should also be a catalyst making it a better neighbour for our local communities.”
The Council would like to see a complete ban on night flights across an eight-hour period between 11pm and 7am. At this stage Heathrow is only willing to accept a 6.5 hour ban on scheduled night flights but they say they are happy to consult further with the local community how this would operate.
Hounslow have called into question the credibility of the surface access strategy put forward by Heathrow and in particular to its ‘no more traffic pledge’, given that no additional public transport is proposed to achieve this. They say this raises important questions about whether air quality can be improved to meet legal limits if expansion happens. The council say they are also extremely disappointed that its proposal for a link to the South Western Railway network from Feltham station, including the addition of a new station at Bedfont is not alluded to in any way in the proposals.
A Heathrow spokesperson said, “New public transport infrastructure such as Crossrail, HS2, Western Rail Access, Southern Rail Access and upgrades to the Piccadilly Line have the capacity to treble Heathrow’s rail capacity and help us to meet our target of 50% of airport passenger journeys made by public and sustainable transport by 2030. Our analysis and that of the independent Airports Commission demonstrates that this is achievable and our strategy is resilient and does not rely on all of these schemes coming forward”…Fuente: http://www.chiswickw4.com/shared/conhrw307.htm