Party will oppose Stansted expansion

CONSERVATIVES from across the region are to join the fight against a second runway for Stansted Airport.The party has adopted a policy of opposing the development in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions, noise pollution, and light pollution over East Anglia.

CONSERVATIVES from across the region are to join the fight against a second runway for Stansted Airport.

The party has adopted a policy of opposing the development in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions, noise pollution, and light pollution over East Anglia.

Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, who is heading a party group looking at quality of life issues, said there was no need to build new runways at either Stansted or Gatwick airports.

He said much more emphasis should be placed on encouraging passengers out of aircraft and on to other forms of transport.


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He said: “There are 39 flights a day between London and Manchester. Ideally there would be none at all. It makes no sense to fly such a short distance because by the time you have got to and from the airports it takes longer than the train journey.

“What we need to do is look at investing in improving the rail links to make it easier and cheaper to travel in a more environmentally-friendly way.

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“There should be an increase in taxes on flights to raise funds for investment in other forms of transport.”

With the Channel Tunnel, it now made no sense to fly from London to Paris or Brussels - and there were now many other routes that would be better service, Mr Gummer said.

He added that Stansted had a bright future as an international long-haul airport making it easier for people from East Anglia, north London, and the south midlands to reach international destinations.

He said his party recognised it was necessary to cut back on the growth of flights because of the damage their emissions could cause and the disruption to people who live under flight paths - an issue highlighted by the Star's Air Fair campaign.

Mark Davison from Stansted Airport said a government report showed that the number of flights from this country would double from 228 million annually in 2005 to about 460 million in 2030. There was a need for two more runways in southern England to accommodate those flights, he said.

He said: “Stansted and Heathrow have been identified as the best places for those runways. Stansted serves 161 destinations, the majority of them in Europe and that is likely to remain the case.

“However most of those are in places for which there is no other reasonable method of transport - to places like Poland, Turkey, or Cyprus. We have no flights to Brussels or Paris and only two a day to Manchester.”

Does Stansted need a second runway? Should air travellers pay a levy to fund alternative transport? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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