Tory chief's Stansted stance welcomed

DESPITE Tory leader David Cameron's pledge to abandon moves to build a second runway at Stansted if he wins the next election, campaigners today pledged to carry on fighting.

DESPITE Tory leader David Cameron's pledge to abandon moves to build a second runway at Stansted if he wins the next election, campaigners today pledged to carry on fighting.

Stop Stansted Expansion campaign director Carol Barbone welcomed Mr Cameron's comments but said the group had to focus on what it was doing and the issues.

“The Conservatives have long acknowledged that Stansted, as a leisure-airport, is not of any strategic importance to the UK economy,” she said.

“Nevertheless, to have confirmation from the party leader is highly significant for our campaign.


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“We cannot be complacent however, or rely solely on a change of government to thwart the second runway plans and our challenge now is to prepare our case for the public inquiry which will take place to consider the application, starting next April.

“Two public inquiry inspectors and one Royal Commission have ruled against major development at Stansted over the past 40 years.

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“We will do everything in our power to ensure that history is repeated with the rejection of this latest attempt to make Stansted bigger than Heathrow.”

BAA Stansted, which has submitted a £2 billion plan to build a second runway it says is needed for the future and will be good for the region, said it was “frustrated” by Mr Cameron's announcement.

Mr Cameron said a second runway had “never been part of our plans”.

He added: “We have never supported plans for a second runway at Stansted.

“What we support is the high speed rail link option from London to Birmingham and Manchester which we think would radically reduce the number of internal flights and take the pressure off airport expansion.”

An inquiry into the second runway will begin next spring and is expected last up to a year.

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

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