Large Chiswick Turnout For Airport Anti Expansion March
Joined the protest in Parliament Square against a third runway
There was a huge turnout of residents from Chiswick at the rally against Heathrow expansion in Parliament Sq on Saturday. The rally was organised by HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) and people from Chiswick were the first to arrive, joined by thousands of other demonstrators in Parliament Square. The W4 group had gathered outside Turnham Green Station with placards at 9.30 am to travel in together.
Conservative MP for Richmond, Zac Goldsmith, described the Third Runway expansion plans as ‘catastrophic’. It would make London’s pollution problems ‘unsolvable’ he said.
Speakers included the Labour Party's mayoral candidate, MP for Tooting, Sadiq Khan, who said "London air is ‘a killer… and its illegal", while John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, MP for Hayes and Harlington (which includes Heathrow itself,) pointed out that people in his constituency are "literally dying because the air has been poisoned by the aviation industry."
Giles Brandreth introduced the speakers and all the London mayoral candidates were vocal in their opposition to Heathrow expansion.
A spokesperson for newly-formed group Chatr – Chiswick against Third Runway - said ‘there is a wealth of scientific data to back up the views expressed by the speakers’.
Recent studies show there are already 10,000 deaths from pollution a year in London and that figure will rise if the third runway is built. Scientists have documented harm to human health including the cardiovascular system, increases in hypertension, sleep disturbance and even cognitive and memory impairment in children living under flight paths, said the spokesperson.
The most recent data from the University of California at Irvine aaround Los Angeles airport has found that the levels of harmful ultra fine particles generated by the aircraft, especially on take off and landing, are transmitted over a much larger area than previously thought – affecting communities as far as ten miles away.
Chiswick is home to one of London's first garden suburbs and the leafy streets of central and north Chiswick have never been previously overflown. Several residents reported to Chatr that they had made the move to Chiswick to escape the harmful effects and stress of aircraft noise and pollution from elsewhere in London - Putney, Richmond, Kew and even Battersea - and expressed ‘grave concerns’ about the Heathrow expansion plans.
Pic Kelvin Murray
A spokesperson for Chatr said; 'The plan to concentrate Britain's flight paths over the most densely populated part of Europe is devastating news for many of London's beautiful villages including Chiswick. The tragedy is that Britain will lock into its transport infrastructure for generations to come, something which there is an abundance of evidence to show can blight their lives and make them ill’.
enthusiastic demonstrators repeated the refrain of ‘no ifs, no buts, no third runway’ and even the church bells which rang throughout the event were at one stage drowned out by the loud chorus.
Cllr Gary Malcolm (Lib Dem) of Southfield Ward in Parliament Square
Email CHATR@mail.com if you want more information.
October 12, 2015