London Assembly supports London First’s call for an aircraft noise ombudsmanDecember 3, 2013
Last month, London First published ‘More Flights, Less Noise’, a report calling for the appointment of a noise pollution tsar that would protect people living under flight paths.
We believe an ombudsman with a range of powers, including the ability to fine an airline that persistently broke noise pollution limits, would address a “basic lack of trust and transparency” between those pressing the economic case for airport expansion and local communities.
With this in mind, we were very pleased to see that the London Assembly Transport and Environment Committees have written to the Airports Commission supporting the establishment of an independent regulator to protect those affected by aviation noise – including an estimated 700,000 Londoners suffering from Heathrow noise pollution. Members agreed the regulator would need right powers and sufficient independence to command public trust.
Assembly Members also called for the Airports Commission to develop a national strategy to improve rail links at all airports. At present, rail service provision is inadequate at Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports, which may limit the extent to which people use them. This supports our submission of a series of recommendations to the Commission, one of which was for it to call on Government and Network Rail to deliver a step change improvement in the capacity and quality of rail services to Gatwick and Stansted.
It also complements another recent report from London First calling for a step-change improvement in rail access to Stansted Airport. The report, ‘A World Class Rail Link for Stansted’, puts forward proposals that could cut the journey time of the Stansted Express by almost a fifth to under 40 minutes, almost halve its delays and create new headroom to improve journeys for commuters as well as airport passengers.