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Mayor of London to back legal action by councils over Heathrow expansion

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has directed Transport for London (TfL) to “provide advice and assistance” to those councils, including Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead, preparing for a joint legal challenge with Greenpeace against a third runway at Heathrow.

The Mayor’s office said it was likely that TfL would be named in this action as an interested party. “As and when that is the case, the Mayor will take a decision on joining the legal challenge,” it added.

As part of his Mayoral Direction, Khan directed TfL to further assess the impact on London of the proposed expansion, and work closely with the Government during the preparation of its National Policy Statement and planning process "to ensure the significant environmental hurdles are fully appreciated". 

At Mayor’s Question Time, Khan pointed to the significant environmental impact that a third runway would have on the lives of London residents.

He added that a third runway would also lead to higher levels of toxic air in an area where pollution was already well above legal levels for NO2 emissions.

The Mayor said: “I promised I wouldn’t just stand-by and see hundreds of thousands suffer from the additional noise and air pollution that a third runway would cause. These decisions show that I’m ready to help ensure that this misery isn’t inflicted on Londoners.

“That’s why I’ve directed TfL to provide their expert advice and assistance to support Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead Councils, and Greenpeace as they prepare for a joint legal challenge, and why I will be ready for us to play an active role in the action if required.”

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “The Mayor’s commitment is very good news and will significantly strengthen our legal arguments. Transport for London’s resources and technical expertise will be hugely helpful to developing our case and exposing the deeply flawed logic supporting Heathrow expansion.”

Leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, said: “This is excellent news and I am grateful to Mayor Khan and his recognition that the fight against Heathrow is vital for all London and must be conducted across party lines. TfL are the best informed organisation on London transport links and know that the transport connections required for a third runway are simply undeliverable at the cost suggested by Heathrow PR men or without further air quality and noise pollution for Londoners.”

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