Quiet In Class!

MPs back children's campaign against noisy planes

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MPs have backed calls to protect schoolchildren from aircraft noise as a new survey revealed that 84% of Heathrow’s neighbours fear that expansion will damage children’s education.

An estimated 100,000 children could have their education blighted by noise if the government pushes ahead with plans to build a third runway at Heathrow.

With research now showing that aircraft noise hinders children’s educational development, the cost of protecting schoolchildren could run into several hundred million pounds, campaigners have warned.

Cllr Barbara Reid, lead member for aviation the London Borough of Hounslow where more than 30,000 children attend schools under a flight path said, “Everyone knows that a third runway will mean more planes, more noise and more pollution.

“Most people will have heard some of the economic and environmental arguments for and against expansion, but the wellbeing of tens of thousands of schoolchildren is being ignored.

“It is essential that we make room in the debate for the voices of children be heard. Tens of thousands of children are already having their education blighted by noise from Heathrow. The government should be addressing this issue as a matter of urgency.”

“Its failure to take the impact that aviation noise has on education seriously is one more reason why so many people from many different backgrounds and saying ‘no’ to any further expansion at Heathrow.”

To highlight the issue MPs from all parties are backing the launch of a new campaign at Westminster today. The PLANE Campaign (Pupils Learning in Aviation Noise Environments), aims to highlight the problems faced by schools under the flighpath and call for adequate insulation and ventilation.

It is backed by Justine Greening MP (Con, Putney), Susan Kramer MP (LD, Richmond) and John McDonnell MP (Lab, Hayes and Harlington) who will be tabling an Early Day Motion in support of the campaign.

A delegation of schoolchildren from West London will deliver a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the government to ensure that children living under flightpaths can be educated in environments that are free from noise and disruption.


February 27, 2008