Air quality near Heathrow

MQT on 2016-10-19
Session date: 
October 19, 2016
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


How do you respond to recently published research which suggests Heathrow airport could build a new runway without breaking EU pollution laws? What, if any, chance have your officers had to interrogate the accuracy and validity of the data used to make this claim?


Answer for Air quality near Heathrow

Answer for Air quality near Heathrow

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Contrary to what was recently trailed in the press about a new study by a Professor Rod Jones, no such research on air quality at Heathrow has been published. The press activity was based on a presentation the Professor gave on low cost sensor networks for measuring urban air quality. He has subsequently said to Air Quality News: “There is a narrative I provide with it. As a PowerPoint presentation on its own it is open to all kinds of interpretations.”


My officers have tried to contact Professor Jones to better understand the work he and his team are currently doing, but have not yet been successful. We will interrogate the data from the research if and when it is published but it is regrettable that press coverage has focussed on a particular interpretation of an as-yet unpublished study, potentially misrepresenting its findings.


The Government and Heathrow have yet to credibly demonstrate that the airport can expand without air pollution being made worse, causing negative effects on public health and undermining my own ambitious efforts to achieve legal pollution limits as quickly as possible.