The Green spokesperson for Environment, Transport and Sustainability has condemned the additional runway capacity which the Airports Commission is considering options for, including an extra runway at Gatwick, as a failure to address the big challenges facing us.
Councillor Pete West said:
“None of the options presented are satisfactory. The world needs less air travel not more, and that is what we should be planning for. It’s utter madness that flowers are flown in from Africa and people are encouraged to take weekend breaks to distant destinations, when we know that these activities add disproportionately to heating up our planet and increase the dangers from climate change.”
“For Brighton & Hove an extra runway at Gatwick will further strain our heaving transport network and our over-priced housing sector, creating pressures to build yet more roads and even more housing, beyond the 30,000 homes already called for, and much of this on precious green-field sites.”
He added: “Such airport expansion fails all our futures. We should be planning for a more live-able planet – shifting to local-sourced produce and getting more out of what is immediately around us. That is the key challenge or our times.”
Caroline Lucas MP labelled the Davies Commission’s findings ‘deeply disappointing’:
“The reality is that endless growth in our aviation capacity is incompatible with the UK’s climate change commitments. It’s also bad news for local residents who will suffer enormously from increasing noise and air pollution.
“It’s clear that a small minority of wealthy individuals are fuelling the demand for airport expansion – not families taking an annual holiday or businesses. We need fairer and more honest approach to the aviation debate that rules out airport expansion once and for all. The Government must urgently look into the proposed frequent flier levy as a fair way of reducing the demand for flights from those who fly the most, whilst benefiting the majority of people and protecting us all from the threat of climate change.”