Third Heathrow runway taxies to take-off | Letters
A third runway at Heathrow would cause real harm to people’s lives, to wildlife and to the planet (Heathrow expansion gets government approval, theguardian.com, 25 October). The third runway will require the demolition of almost 800 homes, result in nearly one million people living under the airport’s flight paths, risk air pollution levels exceeding legal limits and mean Heathrow becomes the biggest single emitter of CO2 in the country. The aviation sector is already set to exceed the government’s own target to limit emissions in 2050 to no higher than 2005 levels. Any further runway expansion would break this target, put an unfair and potentially unachievable burden on the rest of the economy to decarbonise, and undermine the UK’s international credibility on climate change. A new runway will also stoke growth in the south-east, leading to greater housing demand in a region that already has a housing crisis.
Indeed, a third runway may be undeliverable. The cost to the public purse of the road and rail infrastructure will be colossal – with potentially huge implications for British taxpayers. The opposition to it ranges from cabinet ministers to campaigners sitting on runways. The prime minister has been forced to take the unusual and probably unprecedented step of allowing cabinet members to dissent on an issue that is not constitutional or a matter of conscience. Local authorities are planning legal action.
Source: Guardian Transport
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