Boris airport “˜vanity project’ slammed by Assembly

A motion agreed by Assembly Members[1] urges the Mayor to abandon proposals which they warned would have a devastating effect on the west London economy, with up to 100,000 jobs at risk should Heathrow be forced to close.

They also warned that a major new airport in the estuary would create huge environmental damage to a protected area used by thousands of migrating birds as well as increase noise, congestion and pollution for millions of people in south east London.

Murad Qureshi AM, who proposed the motion, said:

"With up to 100,000 jobs on the line at Heathrow it is incredible that the Mayor persists in promoting plans for a rival hub airport in the Thames Estuary. Such an airport would have a devastating effect on the west London economy as well as a serious impact on local wildlife in the estuary and a legacy of noise, congestion and pollution for millions of people in south-east London.

“The message from industry, the airlines and conservationists is simple ““ the Mayor must drop this ridiculous vanity project.”

The full text of the motion agreed at today’s meeting reads as follows: 

“This Assembly believes that the Mayor’s plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary are simplistic and ill-considered and calls upon him to abandon this vanity project.

For a new airport in the Thames Estuary to be a success, Heathrow would need to close, which would have a devastating effect on London’s economy, costing over 100,000 jobs in west London. The proposed airport would cause huge environmental damage to a protected area which is used by many thousands of migrating birds, creating a high risk of bird strike. It would threaten a huge increase in noise, congestion and pollution for millions of people in the east and south east of London, especially in Bromley, Bexley, Havering and Barking.”

Notes for editors:

  1. The motion was agreed by 15 votes for and 9 against at a meeting of the full Assembly today. Watch the webcast.
  2. The motion was seconded by Onkar Sahota AM
  3. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For more details, please contact Alastair Cowan in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 4504/4283.  For out of hours media enquiries please call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit, Greater London Authority, on 020 7983 4100.