THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT CONSULTATION LEAFLET, paid for by British taxpayers, contains one-sided information promoting a foreign-owned airport, Heathrow. It was sent to 1.5 million homes but didn’t tell people how they would be affected and there was no space for details of the consultation venues. Some of the most impacted people eventually discovered that they had no venue within easy reach.
JOBS - The leaflet boasts “tens of thousands of additional local jobs by 2030”. This does not mean people currently living near Heathrow will get any of the new jobs. The inhabitants of Longford and most of Harmondsworth will have been pushed out of their homes. The occupants of thousands more homes will decide that they cannot live with the increased noise and pollution. Heathrow has admitted that as many as 3,750 homes make need to be bought by the airport. Road schemes are likely to mean the loss of yet more housing. Some vacated homes could have "insulation and ventilation" added so that they can be used for people coming into the area to seek work having been lured by talk of "local" airport job. Current local people may find that even after competing for low-pay airport work they cannot afford family accommodation, to buy or rent, and are compelled to move elsewhere. Who will provide all the jobs? Few will be at the airport itself. Heathrow is looking to cut jobs and has cut the pay packages of its staff. NO EXTRA JOBS exist as a result of Terminal 5 being built. Further automation is inevitable as foreign investors push for bigger profits and cut the wage bill. Most off-airport jobs will be in hotels, catering, cleaning, driving, parking and vehicle related business.
OUR CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER CAREER PROSPECTS Even pro-runway union Unite says that says British Airways cabin crew get “POVERTY” RATES. Staff are so fed up they plan to take strike action this month. Baggage Handlers (also Unite members) threatened strike action over Christmas. Airport-related jobs are too often low paid, low aspiration jobs.
LIES ABOUT ECONOMIC BENEFITS “Expected economic benefits to PASSENGERS and the wider economy worth up to £61 billion”. Firstly, that supposed benefit is over 60 YEARS! Secondly, in Nov 2016 the Evening Standard revealed that a DfT report had shown that when benefits to overseas travellers and firms were excluded, British people and firms would be better off if a different option was chosen for expansion. (Gatwick). This information was not given to the full Cabinet when they discussed airport expansion. So even politicians aren't given the full picture or the true facts.
BRIBERY – The six new domestic routes that Heathrow “proposes” may never be viable. They are promoted to persuade other parts of the UK to support Heathrow expansion, as MPs from all over the country will get a vote on the issue in Parliament. Heathrow has spent a fortune charming business groups around the country, and especially in Scotland, to gather support.
POLLUTION AND ROADS The leaflet ignores these. Toxic air pollution generated by airport operations and associated business is permanently damaging health. The leaflet brags about the expensive freight it handles, “more than all other UK airports combined” but this also means it causes more pollution. Increasing freight will put more huge lorries on our roads. Yet it refuses to pay for road infrastructure or the ongoing maintenance by saying that traffic around the airport is not related to their business. This way, Heathrow can pass the cost on to the British taxpayer.
HEALTH DAMAGE No amount of “insulating” or “ventilating” buildings will compensate for the impact of noise and pollution. We go outdoors. Children subjected to high levels of pollution have stunted lungs that will never recover.
DESTRUCTION OF HOMES AND GREEN SPACES Heathrow admits 3,750 homes could be considered unlovable. When people are forced out of the area, this will increase pressure to build more houses on green spaces, for them and the workers that will come into the region expecting to find work.
WARNING - HEATHROW PLEDGES HAVE BEEN BROKEN MANY TIMES BEFORE