Dismayed & Disappointed That 3rd Runway Will Press Ahead

Labour's man Stuart King writes to Putney

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Along with many local residents, I was dismayed and disappointed by the decision to press ahead with a third runway at Heathrow. Like my Labour predecessor Tony Colman, I've been consistent in the importance I place on protecting Putney from aircraft noise.

Almost a year ago I set out my opposition to Heathrow's expansion and my support for a sensible aviation strategy that will protect London's economy. My views have not changed one bit.

I believe Parliament must get to vote on this issue. The argument the Transport Secretary gave for not proceeding with one - that Parliament does not get involved in "quasi judicial planning matters" does not wash. This is not a planning matter until a planning application is submitted - until then it is a matter of national transport policy, and a £9billion one at that. MPs should surely get a say on how to spend £9billion of public money.

Our collective lobbying has won a concession in the fact that runway alternation at Heathrow - that is, flights being able to take off and land on the same runways simultaneously - has been ruled out. That is good news and certainly not an inconsequential victory: mixed mode would have significantly increased noise over Putney, and its defeat means that Putney will continue to receive the same respite it gets now from flights in the afternoon. The ending of the Cranford Agreement may also see some minor improvements to noise levels.

Some of the anti-Heathrow campaigners are describing today as just the end of the beginning in the fight against a third runway and sixth terminal. I share that view. Putney is united against this expansion. And I continue to stand with Putney

You can, as always, get in touch with my at my constituency office by phoning 020 8788 8961, emailing stuart.king@putneylabour.org.uk or via my website.

January 16, 2009