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THE QUESTION: Terminal 5

THE QUESTION: A decision on Heathrow Terminal 5 is due soon. Have the objectors been justified in turning the inquiry into the longest running and most expensive in history?

I remember when I was watching the protest at the Batheaston Bypass, one of the greenies said he hoped to have got down for the big protest on the previous Saturday.

Unfortunately, he was held up on the roads in the Midlands due to an incomplete bypass scheme. It makes you wonder if the greenies would have disrupted planning inquiries into the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire, particularly that huge St Paul's Cathedral, or would have objected when those Normans decided to put up that bloody Tower of London on the waterfront. The civil servants say we need HT5 - and they are always right are they not?

Andrew Worby, 52, solicitor, Bath The objectors are concerned among other things that their sleep will be disrupted by the constant noise pollution and their roads will be further clogged by traffic. As a home owner in West London, I share those concerns. However, I believe the politics of creating and sustaining employment and improving our transport infrastructure to accommodate the increase in air traffic predicted to occur in the near future will win the day. Realistically, this expansion has to be made somewhere.

Alex Pendleton, 30, field engineer, Kent I understand that air travel is causing thousands of tonnes of harmful gases to be released into the atmosphere.

Furthermore, I understand air fuel is not taxed - so in this case the polluters are not paying! Being a highways engineer I have experienced the build, build, build of the 1970s and 1980s to solve traffic congestion and the restrict and manage of the 1990s. I now think it may be time to look at how we may curtail increase in air traffic to reduce the environmental effects.

Rob Andrew, chief engineer, Cornwall Heathrow is a busy place even at off peak hours. The concentration of nonenvironmentally friendly fumes is great whatever the time. The development will not spread the problem, but distribute it more evenly to allow mother nature a bit more breathing space to accommodate and deal with it.

Glenn Foster (27), graduate training officer, Maidenhead Surely the objectors are now seen to be far sighted. Who would have believed them if they had queried the need for this expansion on the grounds of the shrinking demand that would arise from terrorist attacks? A sensible decision would be to defer the proposal until the applicant can demonstrate the continued necessity for it.

Dave Beck, retired, Worcestershire My superficial answer would be that I am unconvinced about the need for more terminal capacity in London, when one considers that so many passengers' journeys start/end elsewhere in the UK but lack of international services to regional airports funnel them unnecessarily into an already congested airspace and airport.

Chris Johnson, 48, senior structural engineer, Gloucestershire

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