Thursday, 16 October 2008

One of many Heathrow lies

I have a story - with Paul Waugh - in the Evening Standard today revealing a direct link between the government's hopes of delaying the European Air quality directive and the expectation that pollution levels will breach the directive when it is introduced in 2010. Amazingly, the government have denied that Heathrow is a factor.

In May, Liberal Democrat shadow transport secretary Norman Baker challenged environment secretary Hilary Benn on the issue in the Commons. Benn said:
We do, indeed, need to look at how we phase in the new rules, but I assure the hon. Gentleman that that is not to do with any decisions that might be taken in the future about airport capacity.
On the face of it, it's a pretty obvious untruth. But then just about all the facts on Heathrow expansion are being fixed around the policy.

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