Archive for the ‘Heathrow noise’ Category

Spare a moment to open your window and listen. What do you hear?

If you have friends or family stuck overseas (or you are reading this from a hotel room in Frankfurt) then the chaos caused by the Ejafjallajoekull volcano will no doubt be causing you some anxiety. If not, and you are a resident of ASSA then enjoy this unique time in our lives when there is no constant stream of jet engines at all hours over our heads. It might never happen again.

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You cannot help but be aware of the noise from aircraft arriving at Heathrow and City. Many of us would agree that it has got worse over the past few years.  The number of arrivals seems to have increased and in particular the number of planes arriving before 6am.

They now say that in excess of 700,000 people  (of whom some 200,000 live in the vicinity of the airport) suffer an Lden of 55 db a day.  An Lden of 55 is in excess of World Health Organization guidelines, and it is the direct result of a narrowing of the arrivals flight path on which increasing numbers of planes are now concentrated.

ASSA recently responded to the BAA Heathrow Noise Action Plan Consultation. The Action Plan unfortunately focuses almost solely on the area around the airport and does nothing to address the increasing traffic over Stockwell.

For more info see this great video of people locally (Fentiman Road and Vauxhall Park).

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The House of Commons had a debate on the expansion of Heathrow Airport on Tuesday.  Kate Hoey intervened briefly to raise the issue of noise in our area:

I am sure that the hon. Lady would agree that it is not just people who live near Heathrow who are affected by the flight patterns and by noise. Many of my constituents who live in Vauxhall, Oval and Stockwell write letter after letter trying to get something done about their early morning wake-up call. They have made it very clear indeed that they do not want another Heathrow runway until that problem has been sorted out, and that has certainly not been done yet.

It was a six hour debate – you can read the full blow by blow version or just watch the show.  If you don’t want to wade through all of that, there was a good summary in Wednesday’s Independent of the issues and where people stand on them.

Curiously, the proposed new runway might not make much difference to us:  most of the Heathrow traffic we see is because if you draw a straight line out from the current northerly runway, it goes pretty much through our back gardens – and many of the planes which are going to land on that runway are established on that line by the time they get to us.  The equivalent line from the southerly runway goes roughly over Clapham North station and that from the proposed third runway would go somewhere just north of Vauxhall Bridge.

There is a certain grim fascination in watching the paths flights actually take, which you can do on this site set up by BAA.  The picture at the top of this post shows the planes flying over us at 0909 on Wednesday this week

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Aircraft noise continues to plague our lives – and will get even worse if the proposed third runway at Heathrow is built. ASSA has been a long-term supporter of our sister resident organisations in the South West and West London areas campaigning against the third runway, and local residents have been invited to a major conference organised by HACAN Clear Skies and NoTRAG (No Third Runway Action Group) and environmental organisations on Saturday 26 July from midday to 5pm at Harlington Baptist Church, High Street, Harlington to look at the next steps in the campaign. More details on the event here or here.

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