Anti-runway campaign gets MP's support

CAMPAIGNERS fighting a second runway at Stansted have been given a boost - with a fresh pledge from the Conservatives that they will scrap the idea if they come to power.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting a second runway at Stansted have been given a boost - with a fresh pledge from the Conservatives that they will scrap the idea if they come to power.

Shadow secretary of state for transport Theresa Villiers met with protesters to discus the latest situation concerning the runway, over which a public inquiry is expected to be held this year.

The runway will enable the airport to handle up to 68 million passengers a year - sending tens of thousands more planes every year over Suffolk.

Ms Villiers said she was “more convinced than ever that a second Stansted runway was environmentally unacceptable and could not be justified on economic grounds”.


You may also want to watch:


She discussed with representatives of Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE), the implications of the Competition Commission's ruling that BAA must sell Stansted, which has seen a 20 per cent decline in passenger traffic over the past two years.

She was also given details of the reduction in the government's air passenger forecasts which SSE claims now show there would no demand for a second Stansted runway before 2030.

Most Read

With a General Election due to be held no later than June 2010 and the Conservatives riding high in the opinion polls, SSE strongly welcomed the Ms Villiers' pledge that the scheme would be scrapped if the party was elected, but are concerned there may still be an attempt to rush the application through beforehand.

SSE economics adviser Brian Ross said: “The shadow secretary of state was remarkably well informed about the issues at Stansted but nevertheless keen to understand every detail about the current situation.

“It was helpful that earlier this week the leaders of some of Britain's leading businessmen came out against airport expansion, very much echoing the doubts about the economic benefits which SSE has been expressing for a long time.”

BAA said it is confident that the runway will be needed for the future once the economy recovers to cope with long-term air travel growth - it wants it up and running by 2017 and is confident by 2030 the airport will be operating close to maximum.

Should a second runway be built at Stansted? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter