Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Fiona Mactaggart MP for Slough called on the government to drop the proposal to build a Heathrow express terminal at Langley which is the latest byproduct of plans for High Speed Rail.
She claimed the project would not bring additional jobs because “the jobs are being moved down the line from Old Oak Common, where they are at the moment, to Langley, people will commute from where they currently live to Langley.”
She was concerned that there will be a loss of housing, reminding MPs that Slough is more overcrowded than most London boroughs.
She claimed that the construction of the depot will have an impact on air quality in an area where the air is already affected by an incinerator, Heathrow and the busiest motorway junction in Europe. The plans will also create difficulties for plans to build western rail access to Heathrow and to reduce heavy goods traffic through Iver.
She complained that there has been inadequate consultation:
“I know that there will be petitions from Slough, but I also know that there will not be as many petitions from Slough as there have been from other communities on the route, because it came as a big surprise to the people of Slough about a week ago that this was happening to them. They can only intervene over the next few weeks—a very short space of time—when some of them will be dealing with their children’s end-of-term plays and planning to go on holiday. My constituents have been badly treated in this process”
Fiona Mactaggart announced that between 17 July to Friday 28 August anyone “directly and specially affected” by the new plan can submit a petition against the bill. This is not straightforward and costs £20, but she announced that by the day petitions open a guide to petitioning would be uploaded on to her website to assist her constituents especially those in Langley who will be most affected.
Speaking after the debate Fiona called on residents to make their views known.