Day 22- Neil completes his 400-mile walk to Scotland
Ahead of schedule, Neil Keveren strode into the Scottish Parliament today with 400 walking miles behind him. (He'll be heading back there on Thursday - when he was expected to arrive.) He had walked from his home in Harmondsworth village, close to Heathrow, all the way up the country to Scotland to speak to politicians and find out why the SNP support another runway at the airport, which would force thousands of people from their homes.
Thumbs up all those who walked 400 miles to get to Parliament today.
Neil knows that Heathrow has spent vast sums of money travelling the country and trying to win over MPs with talk of jobs in the supply chain or giving them a slot at Heathrow for a new connecting flight but you wonder why, if they really intended to do this, they haven't done it before. Remember that Heathrow is a private, foreign-owned company that is only interested in profit not improving towns around the country. If price is an issue or route viability, we can guess what they'll do. We have heard too many promises (quickly broken) for previous expansions.
A Maidenhead resident wrote to the press (see blog page on this site) and calculated that every household across the country will be paying around £500 for infrastructure to support the runway (changes and maintenance of roads etc). This is money much better spent on priorities of NHS, social care, schools etc.
Heathrow admitted in a recent leaflet that there are enough runways in the UK to serve us for 100 years. Even the Department for Transport in their “Sensitivities” report has exposed how little Net Benefit there will be for Britain. After construction costs etc, it is only from £0.2bn to £6.1bn over 60 years, i.e. divide this by 60, so a miniscule percentage of the UK Economy.
Heathrow's latest tactic is to tell you not to trust anti-runway campaigners but if you can hunt through the mountains of documents that Heathrow and the DfT produce, as we do, you will find that this runway is for the benefit of foreign investors and they want the British taxpayer to be fooled into footing the bill. We hope the canny Scots will see through the Heathrow lobbying.
Neil emailed: "I had a photo taken with Friends of the Earth Scotland. It was great to meet this enthusiastic group that is putting loads of energy into opposing expansion at Edinburgh. I really appreciated them taking the time to come and join me for a while outside the Scottish Parliament.
"Shortly after we took the picture above, we were joined by about 60 school kids from Vienna. They were very keen to remind us they beat their proposed runway expansion on climate issues alone."