MAYOR of London Boris Johnson yesterday urged the government to resist the “great Moloch of aviation capacity” and rule out a third runway at Heathrow before the next election.
Attending a rally against expansion of the transport hub, Johnson – referring to a tyrannical power – said it would be “totally nuts” for the Conservatives to go to the polls without having buried the idea.
He said: “It is just too difficult to deliver –15 years at least it would take to bring about. Above all, you would be inflicting noise pollution not just on west London but on huge parts of London that don’t even know they are going to be affected. That is not the right way forward for the greatest city on Earth.”
The protest in Barnes, west London, attracted about 1,000 residents who live under the airport’s flight path.
The mayor has previously accused the government of kicking the controversial issue “into the long grass” by delaying an independent report on the future of aviation until after the next election. He favours a new airport in the Thames estuary or possible expansion at Stansted.
“What I am trying to get across is that there are brilliant solutions that will produce hundreds of thousands of jobs, that will take this country forward, but they don’t include building a third runway at Heathrow,” he said. “That is to entrench a historic mistake – Heathrow is fundamentally in the wrong place for long-term expansion.
“I think the Prime Minister understands that, but I think it’s vital they rule it out before the next election.”
The cross-party rally was led by Conservative MP for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith. He told the crowds: “No ifs, no buts, we will stop Heathrow expansion.”