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Heathrow Airport third runway: Harmondsworth resident sets out on 400 mile walk to Scotland in attempt to save village

"During this walk, I hope to persuade politicians across the UK that a third runway at Heathrow will not benefit regions across the UK"

A Harmondsworth resident as he attempts to save his 11th century village from demolition.

On April 4, Neil Keveren set out on the epic three week journey to Scotland, seeking a meeting with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon in an attempt to persuade her party to vote against a third runway at Heathrow in parliament.

If a new runway is built, it would mean the demolition of Harmondsworth village.

Mr Keveren will be keeping a daily diary of the journey, which wuill see him walk 400 miles to Edinburgh, the story of day one can be seen in the video above.

On the first day he covered 18.6 miles to the village of Chesham.

Well wishers gathered in Harmondsworth square (Image: Alan West/WENN.com)

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John Stewart, the chair of HACAN, the residents’ organisation which opposes a third runway, said: “This is an epic walk with a very clear purpose.

"Neil Keveren will be making a very human plea to Nicola Sturgeon to think again before backing a plan that would require the demolition of nearly 800 homes.”

Mr Keveren, who has lived in the village all of his life, plans to arrive in Edinburgh on April 25 and he hopes the walk will make a difference.

He said: "During this walk, I hope to persuade politicians across the UK that a third runway at Heathrow will not benefit regions across the UK"

"I am looking forward to walking through dozens and dozens of places in the UK over the coming weeks, from Milton Keynes and Lincoln, to York and Edinburgh.”

Neil Keveren sets out from Harmondsworth(Image: Alan West/WENN.com)

 

Campaigners and residents gathered in Harmondsworth square to wish the local builder well on his journey.

In amongst the crowd was leader of Hillingdon Council, Ray Puddifoot.

“I have led Hillingdon Council for 17 years and throughout that time the lives of thousands of residents have been continually blighted by a series of failed proposals to expand Heathrow," said Cllr Puddifoot.

"As the High Court judge said in 2010 when the last proposal was put forward it was 'untenable in both law and common sense' and given that the current proposal is far worse I have little doubt that it will be rejected by the courts.

Former MP Zac Goldsmith and Leader of Hillingdon Council, Ray Puddifoot MBE turned out to support Mr Keveren(Image: Alan West/WENN.com)

"Neil Keveren has my full support for his venture to bring this unacceptable and unnecessary destruction of communities and the threat to the health and wellbeing of many thousands of people to the attention of a wider audience."

Also there to wish Mr Keveren well was former MP Zac Goldsmith, who resigned from his position as MP for Richmond Park on October 25 last year, after the Heathrow expansion was given the go ahead by the government.

Neil with his partner Emma and daughter

He said:"Neil is on the front line in the battle against Heathrow expansion and speaks for residents of a community that will be bulldozed if the airport expands.

"I wish him well as he meets MPs from Hillingdon to Scotland to persuade them why a third runway is no more in their interests than those of his family and friends.”

The decision on whether to expand Heathrow Airport will be voted on by parliament either later this year or in 2018.

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