Anti-Heathrow expansion groups have come together and launched a major new coalition as they take the fight for the proposed third runway to new heights.
The No Third Runway Coalition, the largest of its kind, is backed by 18 local campaign groups including Stop Heathrow Expansion, HACAN, Teddington Action Group and recently formed BASHE aka BashRunway3 based in Brentford .
Working together, they hope to pile pressure on the government to get the plans for an additional runway at Heathrow Airport dropped.
The cross-party coalition also has the support of five local authorities - Hammersmith & Fulham Council - Hillingdon Council - Richmond Council - Wandsworth Council - Windsor & Maidenhead Council - and a number of politicians, and expects more groups to join as word spread in the coming weeks.
Local MPs have referred to the expansion of Heathrow as "reckless" and "costly".
John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes & Harlington, said: “The formation of this new powerful coalition is a breakthrough moment for the campaign against a third runway.
"As more information comes out about air pollution, the environmental threat and the costs of the runway the debate is beginning to shift significantly against Heathrow expansion. This new initiative has my 100% support.”
Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, added: “This is the biggest coalition of opponents to Heathrow’s reckless expansion yet seen.
"Bringing together experts, residents and politicians of all parties shows we mean business and are in it for the long haul.
"We are determined to stop the new runway and the blight it will bring to millions of lives.”
As part of its work the coalition will highlight issues with the Department for Transport’s consultation on Heathrow expansion, which runs until May 25.
Following the 20 local exhibitions held for residents across west London, Berkshire and Surrey there was great concern over the lack of new flight path information.
People were told this information will not be presented until much later in the process, concerning the coaltion.
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Tania Mathias, Conservative MP for Twickenham, said: “The coalition is critical in this period of consultations: all communities need to know the flight paths of a proposed Heathrow third runway; every community affected is concerned about the increase in noise and air pollution and the financial costs for all taxpayers.”
Robert Barnstone, the coordinator of the coalition, added: “Our purpose is to build on the excellent work that has already been done by the existing campaign groups, the local authorities and many MPs.
"We will increase our lobbying of MPs and be mounting a major campaign to get as many residents as possible to respond to the current consultation.”
18 campaign groups
Stop Heathrow Expansion
Teddington Action Group
BASH Runway 3
Englefield Green Action Group
Aircraft Noise 3 Villages
Hammersmith & Fulham No 3rd Runway
Richmond Heathrow Campaign
Ealing Area Noise Action Group
Residents Against Aircraft Noise
West London Friends of the Earth
Colnbrook Community Association
RAGE in Elmbridge
Residents Against Expansion
West Windsor Association
Richmond & Twickenham Friends of the Earth
The coalition has a Twitter account @NoR3Coalition, Facebook page, and is due to launch a website.
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