Third Runway Decision Postponed Until January
Transport Secretary wants to "take more time before making an announcement"
The decision on whether to go ahead with building a third runway at Heathrow has been delayed until next January despite promises that the matter would be finalised before the end of the year.
In a statement Transport Secretary, Geoff Hoon said, "I share the desire on all sides of the House, and among the wider public for this issue to be resolved. I am equally aware of the importance of reaching the right conclusion.
“I know that there are strong views across a range of interests. I will ensure that I give proper consideration to the evidence before me and will therefore take more time before making an announcement to the House, in January 2009.”
Reacting to the news of the postponement, local Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Mary Macleod said, “The Government now has a chance to review the evidence in detail and understand the impact of what a third runway and mixed mode means to local people. It has a major impact on their quality of life. I would like to invite Geoff Hoon to visit Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth, Osterley and Hounslow to see for himself, the current noise levels of aircraft even before expansion. Further increase in noise, pollution and congestion would just be unacceptable.”
Friends of the Earth's aviation campaigner, Richard Dyer, said, "Hopefully Ministers are beginning to wake up to the massive environmental consequences of allowing airports to expand."
"Building new runways will cause a huge increase in emissions that will make it all but impossible to meet our targets for tackling climate change."
"The Government must review its entire aviation strategy and invest in alternatives to short-haul flights such as fast rail travel."
December 5, 2008