One London Party Mayoral Candidate Damian Hockney has condemned his rivals for “gesture politics” over Heathrow expansion.
Speaking earlier today Mr Hockney claimed the airport was “a vital part of London’s economy” and said “anyone claiming that Londoners won’t suffer if Heathrow isn’t allowed to grow is living in cloud-cuckoo land.”
“Are the other mayoral candidates seriously suggesting that only the very rich should fly, which is the inevitable consequence of their opposition to airport expansion?”
“Of course we must minimise the noise impact on homes in the flight paths by encouraging the development of quieter planes, but diverting economic growth to Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt is folly. Anti-Heathrow prostest groups shout loudly, but far more people in West London support expansion, because they know their jobs and security depend on it. I am the only candidate in this election representing those views.”
“Beware of politicians promising to reverse climate change by rationing travel and increasing taxes. Of course, they won’t be hit as we pay for their flights with our taxes.”
Mr Hockney’s comments come as Mayor of London Ken Livingstone called on the Government to drop plans for a third runway at Heathrow and a halt to any further airport expansion in London and the South East.
The made his comments whilst visiting Sipson village in Hillingdon which would be demolished if plans for a third runway are approved.
The Mayor said: “It is vital that all airport expansion in London and the South East, including Heathrow is halted now as it is completely contrary to the growing evidence on the role of aviation in contributing towards catastrophic climate change.”
“Rather than more runways and plane journeys, we must cut carbon emissions by using energy more efficiently. The Government’s own figures show air travel produces two to three times more carbon emissions than making the same trip by rail.”
“Expansion would also have a huge impact on road congestion and pollution with more plane journeys leading to more traffic congestion and pollution from cars. Furthermore many communities in London will suffer with more noise and air pollution, affecting the health, well-being and quality of life for millions of Londoners. The expansion of Heathrow will take much needed green space and mean the complete destruction of Sipson village, home to over a thousand people.”
“So on every test; environment, economic and quality of life, the argument for expanding Heathrow has not been made and I don’t believe it ever can. We have a duty to protect our environment not just for us, but the generations who will come after us.”