The overwhelming majority of residents in Hammersmith and Fulham oppose the expansion of Heathrow: a third runway would inevitably lead to more noise and air pollution, regardless of the exact design of the flight path, and regardless of new technologies. Accommodating 250,000 more flights per year to and from an airport in West London will have a direct impact on all people in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Both Labour and Conservatives originally supported the expansion of Heathrow airport. Liberal Democrats are the only party which consistently opposed it, both at local and at national level. As part of the coalition government, Liberal Democrats managed to put plans on hold and effectively delay a final decision until a proper impact assessment can be achieved.
There is a viable and preferable alternative: the strengthening of regional airports in the South East and Midlands, combined with a high speed rail link to London Crossrail. Plans for this rail link (HS2) are well advanced and need to be integrated into the wider plan for air passengers and freight.
There are several benefits to this alternative:
- no third runway would be necessary, avoiding the dreaded impact on local residents
- a high speed rail line into Old Oak Common - one of the routes currently discussed - would boost the underdeveloped north of the borough and potentially create more jobs than the proposed Heathrow expansion
- the Old Oak Common connection would bring closer transport links for residents in the north of the borough to both Heathrow and the rest of England and beyond