Air pollution is not the solution

, 01 November 2016, Tags:

We in Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party are deeply disappointed that two Redbridge Labour MPs (Wes Streeting and Mike Gapes) back the expansion of Heathrow airport, to which the Government has given the go-ahead. With Leyton & Wanstead MP John Cryer a notable exception, we are disappointed that the Labour Party overall doesn't seem to have an official position on this, considering that leader Jeremy Corbyn has expressed his opposition to Heathrow expansion in the past.

It is clear that the so-called "opposition" are divided on this, and even within that division they don’t appear to seriously question the idea of airport expansion at all. For example, Mayor Sadiq Khan is against Heathrow expansion for air pollution reasons, but thinks Gatwick is the more environmentally friendly option.

Even though Heathrow is on the other side of London, air pollution will still increase in the Redbridge area as a result of more flights coming in and out of London. With the proposed new flight paths from City Airport along with the building of the third runway at Heathrow, the quality of life for people in our area will sadly get worse. Over 9,000 people a year die from air pollution related conditions, so no airport expansion should be considered.

Whilst more jobs will be created as a result of the expansion, we cannot put that above the health of Londoners. There are better ways to create jobs that are sustainable and will not result in a big increase in pollution. For example, in our 2016 London Assembly campaign, we proposed closing City Airport and replacing it with a new hub for homes and businesses. This would have created jobs as well as help deal with the affordable housing crisis.

The government clearly do not care about Climate Change, having abolished the Climate Change department, and with Labour divided and the Liberal Democrats apparently opposed only to airport expansion in the south-east, only the Green Party offers a genuine alternative that protects the planet for our future generations and puts the health of our citizens first whilst transitioning to a low carbon future that invests in sustainable jobs.” 


Lee Burkwood

Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party


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