Robin Meltzer, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Richmond Park and North Kingston, has welcomed the news that Adrian Sanders MP, the Liberal Democrat member of the Tory and Labour dominated Transport Select Committee, voted AGAINST a report of the Committee published this morning advocating massive expansion at Heathrow Airport.
Mr Sanders was the only Liberal Democrat on the Committee, and the only member of the Committee to vote against the report.
"Yet again, we see evidence that it is the Liberal Democrats who are standing up for the hundreds of thousands of residents who would be seriously affected by the environmental outrage of massive expansion of an airport with a flight path straight over great swathes of residential London," said Robin Meltzer.
"Liberal Democrat Adrian Sanders MP was the one dissenting voice on the Transport Select Committee, while all Tory and Labour MPs queued up to back expansion.
"With anti-expansion Conservative MPs like the former Transport Secretary Justine Greening reshuffled out of her job, it is clearer than ever that it is now only the Liberal Democrats who are preventing the Conservatives from the building of new runways at Heathrow.
"And with the Conservatives on the brink of a major betrayal after the General Election, it is only Liberal Democrats in Government after the General Election who can take this off the Agenda - for good."
Robin Meltzer also pointed to the recent report from the London Transport Committee, chaired in City Hall by Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, which showed that 28% of all the people in Europe who suffer from airport noise live under the Heathrow flight path. Many residents also suffer from poor air quality and indeed the area around Heathrow regularly breaches European Union (EU) limits for nitrogen dioxide.
Robin added: "There is existing capacity in the system which is woefully underused with small empty flights still a regular feature of aviation in this city and regional airports crying out to expand which would prevent people traveling unnecessarily through London to get to the continent," said Robin.
“It’s time to nail the myth of the so-called business case for ever more Heathrow expansion. Heathrow was expanded with Terminal 5 to serve 90 million passengers. It’s is only serving 70 million passengers. That points to a need to reform the slots system to incentivise bigger, fuller, aircraft.
“Building more runways at Heathrow is not going to magically restore the British economy. London has more airports than any other European city other than Paris, and we are way ahead of all of Europe, including Paris, in terms of share of the aviation market.”