Neil makes it halfway to Scotland!
Day 12 saw Neil cross the halfway point on his 400-mile walk from Harmondsworth, the villages that would be demolished with a 3rd Runway, to Scotland, as he seeks to raise awareness of the campaign and speak with Scottish politicians about why they are prepared to destroy his home, community and the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.
Neil was met by Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central as he reached the halfway point of the walk. Meeting at the iconic York Minster in the City Centre, Rachael offered her support to Neil and the campaign, commenting: “It’s great to be here today with Neil who’s now walked 195 miles to raise awareness of the impact that a third runway at Heathrow would have. It’s fantastic he’s made it so far on this journey about what’s going to happen to housing, air pollution issues, noise pollution and of course the cost of the project. I’ll be taking his message out into the city, do a public meeting and ensure that people understand the real impact on the local community on a third runway.”
Rachael added: “Whilst we hear so many jobs will be created, what’s really important is the community voice is also part of the consultation and people understand the consequences of what will happen if a third runway actually goes ahead.”
Later in the day Neil met two York City Councillors, who offered their strong support to the campaign. Green group leader Andy D’Agorne and Cllr Denise Craghill who were collecting signatures for a local petition about air pollution. Neil explained that Hillingdon, the borough that includes Heathrow Airport, breaches nitrogen dioxide limits more than any other local authority in the United Kingdom. The legal limits are 40 micrograms per cubic metre, Hillingdon has readings of 68mcg. Both councillors agreed that this needs addressing now, and air pollution must be brought into legal limits, before any talk of runway expansion could ever begin.
With half the walk complete, Neil is feeling optimistic about the rest of his journey, commenting “Walking this far is challenging, but I’m feeling good and looking forward to the second half. It is vitally important that politicians in the north of the UK and in Scotland hear the reality of Heathrow expansion – it will not deliver on its fanciful projects they have promised places such as York.
Tomorrow Neil will be taking a break from walking, but will be visiting an anti-Fracking camp in Kirby Misperton which is slightly off-route. More updates from us on here on Easter Monday. In the meantime, check our Twitter page for the very latest updates @StopHeathrowExp.
On behalf of all of Neil, and all of us at Stop Heathrow Expansion, we wish you a peaceful Easter.