Work and Money
Greenwich says no to Heathrow expansion
Matt Cooke, BBC London
Britain's largest Airport may be on the other side of the city, but councillors in Greenwich have joined campaigners in their fight against a third runway
Nineteen local authorities, representing four million people, have been joined by Greenwich Council in their opposition to expansion plans at one of the world's busiest Airports.
Campaign Group '2M' which gets its name from the original group of councils, consisting of two million residents, who said no to the third runway is growing in number and influence.
The official consultation carried out by the Department for Transport closed at the end of February 2008. They asked residents, businesses and other stakeholders whether they would support increasing the number of runways from two to three.
A 2,200-metre runway, to be built north of the A4 is proposed by Heathrow owners BAA. It's slightly longer than the original proposals for a 2,000 metre runway.
Plans for a sixth terminal, with direct access to rail services, reducing the need for aircraft to taxi across the existing northern runway has also been proposed.
In a press statement Greenwich Council says: "the Government has already decided to go ahead with the third runway - the consultation looked at whether it can meet air and noise pollution standards."
Cllr Pete Brooks who runs transport policy in the Borough went on to say "decisions about where aircraft fly and where the holding stacks are located must be made in the open."
Other local authorities who are already signed up to the '2M' opposition group include Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith, Merton, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth and Slough.
Representing the 19 authorities the '2M' group has written to Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly, calling for the final decision on airspace changes to be made by the Government. It's expected she'll rule on proposals for the third runway in the summer.
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Billions of pounds
Ms Kelly said: "Heathrow supports 170,000 jobs, billions of pounds of British exports and is our main gateway to the global economy. But for too long it has operated at nearly full capacity, with relatively minor problems causing severe delays to passengers."
last updated: 23/04/2008 at 21:45