Thursday, January 22, 2009

Anger at Heathrow decision

THE CIVIL Service union PCS last week expressed anger at Government decision to go ahead with a third runway at Heathrow.
Other unions, Unite and GMB, welcomed the decision because it would provide construction jobs to build the airport extension and then more permanent jobs to staff it.
But PCS believes that a third runway would have a devastating environmental impact with the airport becoming the biggest source of carbon emissions in the country, as well as breaching European Union safety levels for nitrogen dioxide.
PCS believes there are viable alternatives to expanding Heathrow which have not been considered by the Government and pointed to research by authoritative sources, including the Sustainable Development Commission, which casts doubt upon the economic benefits of Heathrow expansion given the current downturn.
The union says research conducted recently by the Campaign for Better Transport shows that businesses in Britain do not need bigger airports.
A combination of high speed rail, better facilities at stations for business travellers and improved teleconferencing would serve the needs of business just as well.
Commenting on the announcement, PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh said: “A third runway at Heathrow must be opposed. It will create more noise and pollution and will mean the government won’t be able to meet the targets in the historic Climate Change Act passed in Parliament only last year.
“Over 1,000 people who live in the area will also be removed from their homes. The Government should instead produce a new transport strategy for the UK focussed upon a publicly owned high speed rail network that will create jobs and contribute to the transition to a low carbon economy and the fight against climate change.”

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