Sunday, July 21

Travel chaos as Heathrow protesters blockade tunnel leading to airport



Five people have been arrested after anti-airport expansion activists blockaded a tunnel leading to Heathrow. The protest, held on the day Parliament is due to debate airport expansion in the UK, has left long tailbacks to terminals 1,2 and 3.

Campaign group Plane Stupid, which is fighting proposals for a new third runway at Heathrow, claimed responsibility.

Three members of the group parked a van bearing David Cameron’s election promise “No Ifs, No Buts: No Third Runway” across both lanes of the entrance tunnel.

In a press release posted on the group’s website, Plane Stupid spokeswoman Cameron Kaye said: “Airport expansion would wreck the legally binding Climate Change Act, risking wiping out 55 per cent of species this century and displacing 75 million more people from their homes by 2035.

“If aviation growth isn’t reduced, by 2037 aviation alone could emit all of the carbon it’s safe for the UK to emit.

“The government needs to choose: build new runways or stop climate chaos: it’s that simple.”

“There is already airport capacity for families taking their yearly holiday. New runways only benefit the 15 per cent of flyers who take 70 per cent of our flights, cooking our planet.

“These are rich frequent leisure flyers. The most reliable predictors of frequent flyer status are a household income over £115,000 and owning a second home abroad, but it’s the poorest people who suffer most from climate change.”

The group quoted “local resident Neil Keveren”, from nearby Harmondsworth, saying: “No one wants to do this. They feel they have to. People feel they have no choice.

“After we campaigned for years, David Cameron was elected promising ‘no ifs, no buts: no third runway’.

* Boris Johnson: A third runway at Heathrow would be a huge mistake

“In 2010 the High Court ruled third runway plans ‘untenable in law and common sense’ because they breached the Climate Change Act.

“Now Cameron might just build it anyway. We have tried every other option. We have been forced to be disobedient just to be heard. To save our homes and our planet.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Officers are currently dealing with a protest near the inbound tunnel of Heathrow airport.

“They were called at 7.42am on Thursday, November 26. Five arrests have been made.”