New poll shows backing for Heathrow

heathrow freight planesNew polling of the communities around Heathrow shows that more people back Heathrow than oppose it, with more backing expansion than opposing it.

The findings have prompted Heathrow to announce that it will provide funding for a community campaign to give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of residents who back Heathrow.

The survey, conducted by Populus, was of more than 6,000 people living in Hounslow, Richmond, Hillingdon, Windsor and Spelthorne. It found that 60% of residents feel positive towards Heathrow compared to just 6% who feel negatively, and that 46% support expanding Heathrow, compared to 43% who oppose expansion.

Two thirds say that the benefits of Heathrow outweigh the disadvantages for their community.

The poll asked about the importance of the airport as a general election issue. It ranked just 12th behind “jobs and the economy” – which was the most important.

Interestingly the area with the most aircraft noise, Feltham and Heston, is the area which is most supportive of the airport expanding. 51% of people in Feltham and Heston support expanding Heathrow compared to 39% who are opposed.

Heathrow Director of Corporate Affairs, Clare Harbord said “This research shows that most local residents back Heathrow. Anti-Heathrow campaigners claim that everyone living near Heathrow is opposed to the airport, but that simply isn’t true.

“The recent report by MPs on Parliament’s Transport Committee lays bare what the Mayor’s plans for a new airport would do to this region: it says an estuary hub airport would require the closure of Heathrow – a course of action that would have unacceptable consequences for individuals, businesses in the vicinity of the existing airport and the local economy.”

“We believe that local jobs and businesses are worth fighting for. It’s time to give people who agree a voice in this debate. It’s time to back Heathrow”

The airport says 114,000 jobs in the area depend on Heathrow, representing 1 in 5 local jobs in the five boroughs closest to Heathrow. A closure of Heathrow could bring Britain’s worst ever mass redundancy with job losses greater than when MG Rover closed its factory at Longbridge in 2005 (6,500 jobs), or during the worst year of UK pit closures in 1984 (30,000 jobs).

The results of the polling has prompted Heathrow to announce that it will provide seed funding for a new community campaign to provide a voice for the thousands of local people who support Heathrow.

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