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Author Topic: Heathrow expansion  (Read 785 times)
Red Squirrel
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« on: February 27, 2020, 11:36:51 am »

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Climate campaigners win Heathrow expansion case

Heathrow Airport's controversial plans to build a third runway have been thrown into doubt after a court ruling.

The government's Heathrow's expansion decision was unlawful because it did not take climate commitments into account, the Court of Appeal said.

Heathrow said it would challenge the decision, but the government has not lodged an appeal.

The judges said that in future, a third runway could go ahead, as long as it fits with the UK's climate policy.

The case was brought by environmental groups, councils and the Mayor of London.

The Court of Appeal found that the government had not followed UK policy when backing the controversial expansion plans.

[...continues]
Source: BBC
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Phil
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 12:45:34 pm »

Although I was once a paid-up "frequent flyer" I haven't flown for nearly ten years now and have no plans to do so in the immediate future, so I shouldn't really express an opinion on this I suppose.

I really do strongly feel though that democratically accountable politicians, and not judges, should be making big decisions such as this though.

And yes I am aware that "democratically accountable" is probably an oxymoron when applied to politicians....
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broadgage
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2020, 12:55:07 pm »

I am pleased by the verdict of the court.
I would not go so far as to prohibit flying, but cant support any expansion thereof.
The purpose of increased airport capacity is to accommodate more flights and more passengers.
If we are serious about the climate emergency, then we need fewer flights and less passengers, not more.

And if long distance rail services were better, including international services to the nearer bits of Europe, then more people would travel by train rather than by air.
Existing airport capacity would then more than suffice.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Clan Line
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2020, 01:53:02 pm »


I really do strongly feel though that democratically accountable politicians, and not judges, should be making big decisions such as this though.


I totally agree with that comment - this is yet another "suicide note" from the judiciary. However to some extent, they may have a point, as it was the Government who introduced the Laws !!   
The management at CDG, Schipol and Frankfurt must be rubbing their hands with glee.  There is a growing number of very important business centres (mainly in the far east) which have NO direct airlinks with the UK, but plenty from the previously mentioned European cities. If our business men have to take 4 hours/days/weeks longer to get there, I am afraid they will be at the back of the queue for business.
It seems even more perverse as it looks remarkably like a rerun of the bitter campaign to improve (or not improve) rail links between London and the the North (of England!).

PS: As I posted this I noticed a bit further down this board the title of a previous topic: Could Calne, Malmesbury and Marlborough become "transport deserts"?  ...............QED !
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 01:58:38 pm by Clan Line » Logged
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2020, 02:05:50 pm »

...yet another "suicide note" from the judiciary.

I doubt it. The prime Minister said in 2015 that "it is just not going to happen"; it is fair to assume that he still opposes the expansion. Why would the government be angry with a judiciary that helps it do what it wants?
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2020, 03:03:02 pm »

- this is yet another "suicide note" from the judiciary. ......QED !

It would be a very grave day for the UK justice system if it could be controlled by politicians.

It is sometimes tried in "banana republics" and often ends with rather fatal results, as when the South Afican Aparthied government tried it back in the 1960s.

The procedure we have is a simple one. The goverment introduces laws and, in case of doubt or injustice, it is for the courts to apply it and/or interpet it.
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2020, 03:54:12 pm »

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I am pleased by the verdict of the court.
I would not go so far as to prohibit flying, but cant support any expansion thereof.
The purpose of increased airport capacity is to accommodate more flights and more passengers.
If we are serious about the climate emergency, then we need fewer flights and less passengers, not more

Please try to take into account that despite all the bad press, commercial aviation contributes about 2.5% of global "man-made" CO2 emissions. And that will probably reduce, as commercial aircraft are getting cleaner and more fuel-efficient all the time.

This sort of decision makes the UK look like a global laughing stock.

This decision will also hamper the efforts of airports like Southampton, where a very small runway extension is needed to improve the airport's future viability (and maybe it's survival). The City Council are opposed, although they are quite happy for cruise ships to sit in port (not on "shore power") all day belching far worse pollution into the atmosphere.

 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 10:36:08 pm by Thatcham Crossing » Logged
broadgage
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2020, 04:33:53 pm »

I appreciate that aviation is only responsible for a relatively small proportion of climate changing carbon dioxide emissions.

That however can be said of most sectors if considered individually.
Advocates of diesel trucks, petrol cars, coal burning power stations, domestic gas heating, cruise ships, and other sectors, can ALL say "don't worry that is only a small proportion of total emissions"

If we are serious about climate change, we need to reduce use of fossil fuels, not to encourage greater use.

Air transport is virtually 100% fossil fuel powered and likely to remain so. Improvements in fuel efficiency of aircraft have helped only very slightly.
Under present conditions, and under reasonably foreseeable future conditions, we need to fly less, not more.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2020, 06:14:39 pm »

Quote
I am pleased by the verdict of the court.
I would not go so far as to prohibit flying, but cant support any expansion thereof.
The purpose of increased airport capacity is to accommodate more flights and more passengers.
If we are serious about the climate emergency, then we need fewer flights and less passengers, not more

Please try to take into account that despite all the bad press, commercial aviation contributes about 2.5% of global "man-made"
CO2 emissions. And that will probably reduce, as commercial aircraft are getting cleaner and more fuel-efficient all the time.

This sort of decision makes the UK look like a global laughing stock.

This decision will also hamper the efforts of airports like Southampton, where a very small runway extension is needed to improve the airport's future viability (and maybe it's survival). The City Council are opposed, although they are quite happy for cruise ships to sit in port (not on "shore power") all day belching far worse pollution into the atmosphere.

 

It's a triumph for the environmental lobby, but a potential economic disaster for the UK, especially post Brexit.

I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that it makes us a global laughing stock, but certainly Amsterdam, Frankfurt and others will be smiling quietly tonight.
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Adrian
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2020, 07:34:56 pm »

This year, more than any other, Britain needs to be leading by example on climate change.
I will be interesting to see how this ruling is viewed with hindsight, in years to come.
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2020, 10:44:43 pm »

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This year, more than any other, Britain needs to be leading by example on climate change.

I would contend that, as a nation, we already punch well above our weight on this issue.

It's a pity that other Countries, who have far more capability to positively influence the outcome, don't seem to want to.

Quote
but certainly Amsterdam, Frankfurt and others will be smiling quietly tonight.

They already are as they have more runways and capacity to expand at the expense of Heathrow's (and thereby the UK's) competitiveness:

Paris CDG - 4 runways
Frankfurt - 4 runways
Amsterdam Schipol - 6 runways

.....London Heathrow - 2 runways (down from 3, when the useful cross-wind runway 23/05 was closed, ultimately  to make way for the expanded Terminal 2)
 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 08:15:17 am by Thatcham Crossing » Logged
CyclingSid
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2020, 07:00:00 am »

I think it is necessary that there are checks and balances with the government system. If the courts question something parliament can legislate to make adjustments they see fit.

News this morning https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51665682 might cause the government to reconsider its decision not to appeal the Heathrow case. Can railways schemes also fall foul of this?
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mjones
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2020, 07:24:15 am »




Please try to take into account that despite all the bad press, commercial aviation contributes about 2.5% of global "man-made" CO2 emissions. And that will probably reduce, as commercial aircraft are getting cleaner and more fuel-efficient all the time.




Actually that share is forecast to increase,  because air travel is expanding more quickly than efficiency is improving,  while other sectors are easier to decarbonise.
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mjones
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2020, 07:30:11 am »




I really do strongly feel though that democratically accountable politicians, and not judges, should be making big decisions such as this though.




It is the politicians who make the decisions; however they have to comply with their own laws when doing so.  If the government wants to go ahead then it has to modify the proposals to make them comply with the laws they have passed; or they have to modify the laws to permit those plans. It is not democratically accountable to pass laws and then ignore them.
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ellendune
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2020, 08:24:11 am »

The judges were at pains to say that they were not stopping the government from authorising Heathrow expansion it is just requiring them to show how they have taken account of their climate change commitments in making the decision in accordance with their own laws.

I suspect they won't change their minds and appeal the decision, but leave it to Heathrow to do that as that gets them out of the  internal party opposition to the scheme with many local MP's opposed to the scheme (including the pm). 

As for the impact on road schemes I suspect they will wait for that to happen and then try and show how they have taken it into account. 
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