Sarah Olney MP has slammed the government for not being open with residents that a third runway at Heathrow could mean just six or four hours a day respite from aircraft noise.
Currently residents can expect up to eight hours without being disturbed by incoming and outgoing flights from Heathrow.
However, hidden away in the public consultation on a third runway is an admission from the Government that whilst residents can expect more ‘certainty’ over when respite periods will be, the number of hours they can expect to be free from aircraft noise will drop to just six, or even four, hours.
Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston Sarah Olney raised the issue in the House of Commons today (30th March), asking the Minister to explain why the consultation “failed to mention that this respite would be reduced from 8 hours a day to just six or even four hours.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, responding for the Government, failed to answer Mrs Olney’s question, stating only that the consultation “set out in broad terms the impact of the changes”.
Speaking after their exchange in the House of Commons Sarah Olney commented:
“When it comes to a third runway at Heathrow, the Tories are treating local residents with contempt.
“Not only have they failed to make this cut in respite hours clear in the consultation, when questioned about it in Parliament the Transport Secretary couldn’t even admit they are cutting the noise-free period. Either Chris Grayling isn’t aware that residents will suffer from more noise, or he isn’t willing to admit it.
“It is completely unacceptable that the government aren’t being clear with residents across Richmond and South West London that their respite from aircraft noise will be so dramatically reduced if a third runway gets the green light.”