Speaking in Parliament on 24 May, Twickenham MP Munira Wilson raised the concerns of local residents and campaigners worried about the health and environmental impact of Heathrow expansion. Munira said she joins those who “wholeheartedly and vehemently oppose a third runway at Heathrow Airport”, adding that “we want a better Heathrow, not a bigger one”.
Munira’s speech in the debate – led by Putney MP Fleur Anderson and backed by the ‘No 3rd Runway Coalition’ – follows other speeches the Twickenham MP has made in Parliament calling on the Government to tackle the noise and environmental pollution that is tormenting residents across Twickenham.
“Noise misery and pollution from Heathrow blights the lives of millions of residents across Twickenham and South West London every single day and night,” said Munira.
“Heathrow expansion would only make this worse. A third runway would be bad for the environment, for local communities, for our net-zero targets and even potentially for our economy. It’s time the Government woke up, smelt the kerosene and opposed Heathrow expansion, as Liberal Democrats always have.”
Heathrow is the single biggest source of carbon emissions in the UK, and increased capacity at the airport would only add to this by bringing more congestion onto surrounding roads. Meanwhile, evidence shows that aircraft noise and disrupted sleep can have an impact on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing, as well as children’s ability to concentrate and learn. What’s more, the economic case for Heathrow expansion is now in tatters, with the project not financially viable.
The ongoing debate around a third runway comes as the Government continues to pursue its programme of airspace modernisation, which would see Heathrow significantly redrawing its flight paths over London and neighbouring counties – potentially intensifying health and environmental impacts.
Liberal Democrats want to see an independent noise ombudsman reinstated; far more robust regulations on night flights; and for Ministers to look at making aircraft noise a statutory nuisance.
“Everyone deserves the right to breathe clean air and have a good night’s sleep, and Liberal Democrats won’t rest until the Government gets its head out of the clouds on this,” added Munira.
Watch excerpts from Munira’s speech in below, including her comments on environmental impacts, noise pollution and Liberal Democrat opposition to expansion plans.
Photo courtesy of ‘No 3rd Runway Coalition’