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Mayor supports Heathrow legal challenge

A CGI depiction of the proposed third runway at Heathrow

London mayor Sadiq Khan has signalled his support for a potential legal challenge of the government’s decision on a third runway at Heathrow airport.

Khan revealed yesterday that he had directed Transport for London (TfL) to provide advice and assistance to affected borough councils, including Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead. Those local authorities have been joined by Greenpeace UK in their legal challenge of the government’s decision, and TfL will likely be named as an interested party.

“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,” said Khan.

“That’s why I’ve directed TfL to provide 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.”

“A third runway at Heathrow will inevitably heap more misery on hundreds of thousands of Londoners already suffering from illegal levels of air pollution,” said Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven. “It will also drive the UK’s climate-warming emissions through the roof. Ministers are already on the run from a court ruling that has exposed their current air pollution plan as a sham. It’s time for ministers to stop defending Heathrow’s right to pollute and blight our capital city and start championing people’s right to breathe clean air and live in a healthy environment.”

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia 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.”

TfL raised questions over the third runway’s impact on air pollution in the city last year, when it was still chaired by Boris Johnson.

Khan also expressed his concerns over whether billions of pounds can be found to improve road and rail connections to Heathrow.

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