Ken Livingstone has renewed calls for Heathrow airport operator BAA to remove London Underground stations from a list of sites the company wishes to prevent those opposed to a third runway from demonstrating on.
BAA will tomorrow seek an injunction imposing wide-spread restrictions on the movements of protestors across parts of the rail and tube networks, sections of the M25 and M4 motorways and around the airport, for the duration of the protests.
Groups affected by the proposed injunction would include the RSPB and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, the Woodland Trust, and the National Trust.
According to Mayor Livingstone BAA did not seek Transport for London’s permission or agreement for its stations and land to be included in the injunction.
The Mayor has called the proposals “a serious infringement of civil liberties and an attack on the right to peaceful protest.” In a strongly worded statement issued today he said:
“The injunction would prevent lawful protesters approaching within 100 metres of any Transport for London property, whether at Heathrow or elsewhere, potentially restricting the movement of millions of people. It is extraordinary and unacceptable that BAA did not consult Transport for London about this proposed injunction, which could have a serious impact on underground services.”
“This is an over-reaction from the Heathrow Authorities, whose genuine concerns about disruption to their services, should be addressed in conjunction with the police and through the use of usual security measures.”
“It would obviously be unacceptable for any unrepresentative group to disrupt the journeys of holidaymakers and other passengers. But any such groupings are a tiny minority, who should be dealt with using existing law and policing. Instead of protecting the public from anyone bent on violence or disruption, this injunction targets potentially millions of people.”
“Transport for London has written to BAA to demand that all reference to its property and services be removed from any such injunction and will oppose in the courts any attempt to restrict the lawful use of its public transport services.”