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Heathrow expansion could increase security risk

London Councils - which represents all of the capital’s local authorities - has said further expansion at Heathrow airport could make it an even bigger target for terrorist attacks.

In its response to the Government’s consultation on the proposed third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow, London Councils has also raised concerns about the ability of the local public transport system to cope with the 35 million people a year that are predicted to use the new terminal.

In its response it says:

"Insufficient consideration has been given to using high speed rail links to reduce the demand for domestic and short haul flights. The number of flights from Heathrow could be cut by around 100,000 a year if there were no flights to and from destinations with a good rail alternative.

"No decision should be made on the expansion of Heathrow until an independent assessment of how the local transport network will need to be improved. This should be carried out with local authorities, Transport for London and Network Rail.

"And the Government must consider if it is sensible to continue to expand Heathrow in the current security climate, and also for the safety of residents living near the airport. Following the terrorist attacks in America and London, and the recent emergency landing of an aircraft at Heathrow itself, careful thought needs to be given to increasing the number of flights across the capital."

Chairman of London Councils’ transport and environment Committee, councillor Daniel Moylan, said: “There are so many unanswered questions about this project. The government must heed the growing concerns and do the right thing and scrap plans to expand Heathrow.”

Source: DeHavilland