Socialist Worker

As Heathrow runway decision looms—airport expansion is toxic for the Tories

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2525

Planes at Heathrow airport in London

Planes at Heathrow airport in London (Pic: tataquax/flickr)

Government airport expansion plans will bring widespread noise pollution to south east England—and damage the climate.

London Heathrow’s position as frontrunner for expansion was strengthened when the Scottish government shamefully threw its weight behind a new runway.

Scottish National Party economy secretary Keith Brown said it was “the best deal for Scotland”.

Heathrow bosses agreed to make Glasgow a “logistics hub”. London Gatwick bosses vowed to continue preparing to expand whatever the decision.

Heathrow expansion is a toxic issue for the Tories.

Many MPs, including leader Theresa May, have constituencies that would be hit by noise and air pollution.

Former London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith reiterated last week that he would “trigger a by-election”.

The head of May’s local Tory association threatened to sue the government.

A new runway at Heathrow would mean:

  • 200,000 new flights a year
  • 40,000 extra road journeys a year
  • 300,000 more people exposed to noise pollution

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