Richmond Council calls for action as report criticises environmental impact of third Heathrow runway

Richmond Council is warning the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport will put people’s health at risk following a new report released yesterday.

The Environment Audit Select Committee – made up of cross-party MPs – found the government is not doing enough to show how it will reduce the environmental impact of a third runway.

Air pollution, noise pollution and carbon emissions were all highlighted by the committee as needing stronger safeguards.

Around 40,000 deaths a year in the UK are linked to air pollution, and Richmond councillors have said they lack confidence in the government’s current plans.

Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, said: “Expanding Heathrow would not only be damaging to the environment, but it would damage the health of tens of thousands of Londoners.

“And, the government has no realistic plan to combat this.”

Ministers say a third runway will not exceed environmental limits.

The council is campaigning together with Wandsworth, Hillingdon and Windsor and Maidenhead councils to end the third runway project which will expose 47,063 properties to air pollution.

The government aims to improve air quality through measures such as encouraging more people to use low emission cars.

But this has come under fire from councillors who don’t think it would do enough to protect their constituents’ health.

Richmond Council’s lead scrutiny member for environment, councillor Jean Loveland, described the government’s current approach as unrealistic and disappointing.

Environmental organisations have also expressed their concern over the lack of strong plans to protect people and the environment.

Feature image courtesy of Shai Barzily, via Flickr, with thanks

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