The Mayor of London has published a new report which claims the cost to the health of Londoners of a third runway at Heathrow is too high, and used the occasion to try to bring his Thames Estuary airport idea back to life.
The report says that expansion at Heathrow would expose 124 more schools and 43,000 school children to a level of aircraft noise proven to affect their level of reading and memory.
The report also claims that the long term health effects of exposure to the extra noise caused by a third runway would cost £20 to 25bn over 60 years.
The mayor, Boris Johnson, used the opportunity to resurrect “Boris Island”, the Thames Estuary airport proposal comprehensively sunk by Sir Howard Davies’ airport’s commission. He described an airport to the east of London as “the only credible solution to Britain’s aviation dilemma”.
The report – ‘Landing the right airport‘ – suggests a four-runway hub to the east of London would affect less people with noise.
The Mayor also suggests that a third runway would mean more than double the number of surface access journeys to and from the airport – with those by public transport jumping from around 80,000 a day now to over 300,000 a day – a scale of demand that could not be accommodated without major unbudgeted investment in rail infrastructure, says the Mayor.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “There is no silver bullet for the noise nightmare of a third runway at Heathrow and any approval of expansion would clearly result in decades of legal challenges. Its cramped urban location simply cannot accommodate the kind of airport this country requires to compete on the global stage and the cost to the taxpayer of necessary road and rail connections would be huge, however well disguised. That means the Government has a bold decision to make – but not a difficult one. They must surely finally recognise that the only long term vision that sustains our economy and safeguards our health is to build a four runway hub airport at the Thames Estuary or Stansted.”