The proposed expansion of Heathrow and London City airports would be an environmental catastrophe. It would mean more plane noise, more pollution, more congestion on our roads. Increases in greenhouse gas emissions would make it impossible for the UK to meet even its current, inadequate commitments to address the crisis of the global rise in temperatures.
The construction of a third runway at Heathrow (in effect, a new airport adjoining the existing one) would have the most damaging environmental impact of any new infrastructure project in Britain. It will result in 750 more flights a day (280,000 a year); the destruction of around 750 homes; two new car parks with 24,000 and 22,000 parking spaces; diversions of the M25 and A4; the rerouting of local rivers; and loss of habitats at wildlife areas including Staines Moor, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Increased disturbance from flight paths will impact Southwark residents, along with millions of people across London, including many who are not currently overflown.
At London City airport in the Docklands, expansion plans would almost double the number of flights, affecting some of London's most heavily overflown communities, including parts of Southwark. The current respite break from 12.30pm Saturday to 12.30pm Sunday would be scrapped and there would be more early morning and late evening flights.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign against London City's plans, Caroline Russell, Green Party member in the London Assembly, said: “Londoners' lives are made a misery by aircraft noise. It’s really important people have their say to stop any expansion at City airport, especially into the weekends when flights are currently banned. It’s shocking that residents have to organise and campaign to keep their peace and quiet.”
Despite what the airports claim, neither of these projects is bound to go ahead – they can be stopped if public opposition and pressure on politicians is strong enough. So how can you make your voice heard? Both Heathrow and London City are now carrying out statutory consultations on their expansion plans (Heathrow closes on 13 September, London City on 18 October). We recommend you don't reply via the airports' websites, where "leading" questions in the online response forms encourage support for the plans, alongside misleading claims of sustainable development.
You can, however, state your opposition to airport expansion by replying directly by email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign online petitions organised by local campaign groups:
If your MP is Harriet Harman (Camberwell and Peckham, email@example.com) or Neil Coyle (Bermondsey and Old Southwark, firstname.lastname@example.org), it's important to send them copies of your replies to the consultations. Both these Labour MPs backed the Heathrow third runway in last year's parliamentary vote. Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood, email@example.com) has so far opposed airport expansion.
Further information from:
It’s crucial the Mayor knows that we care about breathing clean healthy air. His plans for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) leave Londoners in the outer boroughs with the weakest protections against air pollution from vehicles. And the current area proposed for the ULEZ (in red on the right - click to enlarge) doesn’t even include all of Southwark!
The plans could make the roads around the South Circular even more polluted and congested as people try to avoid paying by skirting around the ULEZ. We are replying to the consultation on behalf of Southwark Green Party, and you can add your voice to show the Mayor that Londoners want him to take strong action on air pollution.
Please ask the Mayor to:
- Make the expanded ULEZ London-wide
- Apply the standards to all vehicles not just lorries, buses and coaches
- Introduce the ULEZ by 2020.
[Take the 5-min survey...] If you prefer, you can write with your comments c/o Freepost TfL Consultations. Deadline: 28 February 2018.
(Question 5 is the most important - say that the area MUST be larger. In question 6, ask that this comes in sooner.)
We are calling on the Mayor of London and Transport for London to replace buses on all routes passing through Camberwell Green with hybrid, hydrogen or electric buses by 2018. This is not just about Camberwell! Cleaning up the 15 dirty diesel bus routes will be good for the health of people all along those routes: in Elephant and Castle, Walworth, Vauxhall, Oval, Brixton, Herne Hill, Forest Hill and so on...
Southwark Green Party's recent monitoring of nitrogen dioxide pollution around Camberwell Green has shown that annual levels at the bus stops outside Butterfly Walk/McDonalds on Denmark Hill are more than twice the legal EU limit. The monitor outside McDonalds measured 84 micrograms per cubic metre, while the legal EU limit is 40.
Southwark Council's slogan for reporting on their public consultations is 'We asked, you said, we did'. In this case, we asked members of the public to send us their comments on the council's latest air quality strategy, so we could share them with you. Now we urge Southwark Council officers and councillors to read these heartfelt and thoughtful responses carefully (along with all the others, including the Southwark Green Party response) and DO.
R (Bermondsey) writes:
I cannot see anything about (a) reducing the total volume of motorised traffic in the borough or (b) about developing a network of free/low pollution footpaths and cycleways for those of us (eg the elderly with heart conditions), who need to move around the borough [...] there is insufficient detail about geographical priorities eg Borough High Street, Rye Lane, Camberwell, Rotherhithe Tunnel.
Air pollution is a recognised public health emergency. Southwark Council needs to take action. Or rather, actions. There’s no one solution, but the actions taken need to be both immediate and substantial.
Southwark is consulting on its updated air quality plan. Responses need to be in by 31 January. Southwark Green Party will submit a detailed response and publish it here. But in short – we think the plan talks a lot about meetings and monitoring and not enough about ideas and action!
We encourage you to respond individually. It’s a very simple form - the one question is quite open: ‘What do you have to say about the Air Quality Strategy and Action Plan?’ So why not use this space to explain to the council how air pollution affects you and why you want the council to do more? Please copy your response to us too at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read on for some suggestions about what councils can do…Read more
Southwark Green Party has responded to the TfL consultation on measures like the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to combat air pollution and improve health. Southwark residents are exposed to some of the highest levels of pollution in London - so this affects us all. What do we want the Mayor to do?Read more