I have today sent a letter to the Department of Transport asking them to encourage Heathrow Airport to introduce a complete moratorium on night flights. Richmond Council and I are supporting this campaign which was initiated by Friends of the Earth Richmond.
One of the few silver linings from the lockdown was experiencing the peace and quiet from the reduction in flights over the borough particularly at unsociable hours. The reopening of Heathrow’s full operations is important as we rebuild our economy but as and where possible, the airport should do what it can to improve the quality of life for people living in the area by more considerate scheduling.
Despite Heathrow seeing a significant reduction in passenger numbers, there are still planes scheduled to arrive and leave between 4.30am and 5am. We therefore urge the Government to stop flights between 11pm and 7am during this pandemic.
To sign the petition, go to: actionnetwork.org/petitions/suspend-night-flights-while-uk-airports-are-operating-below-capacity

As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, it is Carers Week this week and I’d like to thank all those who care for others in our community. Particularly during the current COVID-19 crisis.
Liberal Democrat Acting Leader, Ed Davey, introduced a Presentation Bill into the Commons today to ask that the Equality Act 2010 – which required employers to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate workers with disabilities – be extended to allow adjustments for those with caring responsibilities.

Mark Hopwood, Managing Director for South Western Railway, contacted me this week to update me on what they are doing to keep passengers safe
These steps include:

• Promoting the latest Government advice at stations and on trains.
• Encouraging social distancing on trains and at stations using stickers and vinyls to serve as a reminder of the 2m guidance.
• They have begun installing hand sanitiser machines at over 100 stations, so customers can help fight the virus before and after they travel.
• Producing a guide providing top 10 tips for travelling covering all stages of the journey. You can view the video here.
• Promoting new rules on wearing of face coverings from 15th June

He has also provided an update on customer refunds. They received around 35,000 refund requests and we have processed around 29,000 of them. Their teams are continuing to work hard to process those remaining and expect all outstanding refunds will be completed by mid to late June.


Sarah Olney MP
email: office@saraholneymp.org.uk

Earlier updates can be accessed here.