During my time at City Hall and and subsequently, l have been involved in the campaign against Heathrow expansion. Including going to the Royal Courts of Justice several times but last weeks visit beats them all, as the Court of Appeal stated the Heathrow expansion plans are unlawful on climate change grounds. Now normally l tend to concentrate on air and noise pollution impact on Londoners, as there is more than sufficient on these environmental impacts to oppose the expansion of flights at Heathrow. Indeed that was what the London councils concentrated themselves on but those concerns were not the primary concern of the Appeal Court. The Environmental Groups largely lead on climate change impact of Heathrow expansion and its CO2 emissions. These were also regular items of concern we covered under my chairmanship of the Environment Committee, almost annually as a response to the numerous consultations we had had on Heathrow during my time at City Hall 2004-2016.
At City Hall, not only did l have to restate the London Assembly opposition to extra runways at Heathrow but also called to end night flights and through The Plane Speaking report focus on the increasing road use impacts on Heathrow air quality. So glad to have made a small contribution in the defeat of Heathrow expansion.
Heathrow will be appealing of course to the `Supreme Court but without the governments support it will be difficult tasks ahead for them but l am glad l have been involved in this campaign from the outset of my involvement in London affairs. The verdict also has major ramifications for any future development of transport infrastructure in the UK like the governments road programme which will almost certainly be the first of many challenges ahead based on the climate emergency concerns of climate change.