Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Heathrow's Newest Flight Path - Directly Over Shepherd's Bush?

Could this be Shepherd's Bush? Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Local MP Andy Slaughter is leading the campaign against the Third Runway at Heathrow, largely because its flight path will lie directly above Shepherd's Bush and Hammersmith. That's very bad news for pretty much everyone in our neighbourhood. As a result, opposition to the new runway crosses party lines, with both Labour and local Tories coming together in a rare expression of solidarity to oppose what could be a very, very noisy addition to Shepherd's Bush.

Busy, and getting busier. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Third Runway has been under discussion for years. Anyone who has been to Heathrow lately can hardly have failed to notice how over-crowded and busy it is, and how easily flights can get backed up, with aircraft circling endlessly overhead, waiting to land. Everyone knows that London needs more airport capacity; the problem is where to put it? No-one wants a new flight path over their house.

Last week the Davies Commission came out in favour of the Third Runway at Heathrow. Trouble is, this would create a new flight path going directly over central Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush. Yikes. 

Map of Heathrow runways. BBC News, 2008

So what does the government think? Back in 2009, The Prime Minister gave his assurance that "the third runway will not go ahead. No ifs, no buts." Let's hope he sticks to his word. But his cabinet is split. Many are in favour of Heathrow, while both Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith - a possible candidate for Mayor of London - are opposed. 

So what can we do? Well, you can write to your MP, Andy Slaughter, but he's already on our side. Better perhaps to write to the PM, or members of his cabinet, and urge the government not to build again at Heathrow. Better yet, let them know just how marginal many west London seats are, and will be again in 2020.  Hammersmith was a Tory target in May of this year - and it will be again, especially as the area gentrifies.

In the meantime, if you want to feel like you are doing something useful, you can sign the petition here.

The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. Read about the Campaign to Save Hammersmith Park, find out about our new Farmer's Market, see what's on at The Bush Theatre, find out the latest news on the future of Shepherd's Bush Market, and the Council's plans to upgrade the Goldhawk Road and the Uxbridge Road. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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