Future Heathrow

ASA: no proof third runway would not increase noise or pollution

An interesting turn of events: last year Future Heathrow paid for an advert claiming that a third runway would not increase pollution or noise. Fast forward several months, and the Advertising Standards Agency has just ruled the advert misleading. Naughty naughty!

The normally placid ASA "noted Future Heathrow and BAA firmly believed that the noise and air limits would not be breached, but considered that the evidence we had seen was not sufficient to justify an absolute claim that noise and pollution would not increase following the construction of a third runway." Given that this evidence came from BAA and the Government, they're basically saying that the Department for Airport Expansion and its Ministers were lying.

I feel strangely vindicated, because around about the same time four colleagues and I were prancing about on the roof of Parliament, trying to say exactly the same thing. Sadly we got convicted and fined, while Future Heathrow was merely told not to run the advert again. A bit late really, given that a) they ran it over a year ago and b) they'll just get a new advert made, but I suppose it's the thought that counts.

Lord Soley throws a strop

Lord Soley

The House of Lords is a rarefied place, where quiet debate is the order of the day, and ne'er a voice gets raised. Until, that is, Lord Soley of Hammersmith weighed into a gentlemanly debate about Heathrow's expansion.

Lord Berkeley began the debate, with the reasonable question, "Following the end of the consultation period, what are their latest plans for the third runway at Heathrow?" and the Minister, Lord Bassam, was giving the usual waffle about "strict local environmental limits" and what-not. Into the fray charged Soley, who, having declared an interest as the head of pro-expansion group Future Heathrow, said angrily:

"Organisations such as the Sunday Times and the Independent that are campaigning for the closure of Heathrow... might also stop doing irresponsible things such as giving details of how to get on to the roof of the Houses of Parliament and how to join organisations that want to do so."