RBWM residents say ‘No’ to third runway at Heathrow (Windsor exit poll)

January 17, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Adding capacity at Heathrow airport, Climate change, Eton, Global warming, Heathrow expansion, Maidenhead, RBWM, Windsor | Leave a comment

Dear neighbours,

Although I was unable to attend the ‘Adding capacity at Heathrow’ even in Windsor Leisure Centre, I read that the vast majority of residents who did attend the Public Exhibition in Windsor before Christmas do oppose Heathrow expansion. Last week’s news from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead website read as follows:

Residents say ‘No’ to third runway at Heathrow

The overwhelming majority of Royal Borough residents who visited the government’s recent Heathrow consultation exhibition in Windsor are opposed to further expansion at the airport.

A Royal Borough exit poll of 162 people showed that 80% do not want a third runway and more than 73% said their quality of life would ‘personally suffer’ if the runway went ahead. There was also a majority – more than 80% – who felt that the expansion would damage the environment and contribute to global warming.

The Department for Transport’s Adding Capacity at Heathrow consultation sets out plans for adding another 222,000 flights per year at the airport by 2030, including a third runway and a sixth terminal.

Public exhibitions are being held in local authority areas around the airport and, as part of its preparation for responding to the consultation, the Royal Borough asked people who attended the Windsor exhibition on December 17 what they thought about the government’s plans.

In addition more than 80% of respondents were sceptical that the government would actually take account of their views when making the final decision about the expansion – indeed, they felt the government had already made up its mind to build the third runway, regardless of the outcome of the consultation.

There was also a majority – more than 70% – who disputed the government’s view that London needs a third runway if it is to continue prospering as a world city.

Cllr Colin Rayner, lead member for highways, transport and the environment, thanked members of Windsor Area Aviation Action Group, Old Windsor Residents’ Association and local councillors who helped carry out the survey.

He said: “Based on the number of responses we feel our exit poll is a very good indicator of how borough residents feel about the expansion – the equivalent of building a new airport the size of Gatwick. People are angry, and they are also very worried that the government will just forge ahead and not take their views into account.”

The council will be putting forward its views on the Heathrow plans in the very near future. In the meantime residents are encouraged to read the consultation papers very carefully and, if possible, attend one of the remaining public exhibitions, as follows:

  • Colnbrook – Sheraton Heathrow Hotel (14 January, 10am – 8pm)
  • Brentford – Holiday Inn Brentford (16 January, 10am – 8pm)
  • Richmond – Adult Community College (18 January, 10am – 8pm)
  • Egham – The Jurgens Centre (21 January, 10am – 8pm)
  • Langley – Langley Community Centre (23 January, 10am – 8pm)
  • Central London (two days) – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (25 January, 10am – 8pm, and 26 January, 10am – 6pm).

Full details about the consultation are available at www.dft.gov.uk/heathrowconsultation or by calling 0845 600 4170.

P.S.  I attended the session in Colnbrook (coloured green)

P.P.S.  As I type this, I can hear the aircraft catching up for lost time at Heathrow today, after that safe crash-landing.


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