CO2 Councils opposing 2nd runway join with 2M Group to fight unsustainable airport expansion

March 17, 2008 at 3:39 am | Posted in 2M Group, against Heathrow expansion, Aviation, Braintree, Camden, Chelsea, Climate change, CO2, College Green, Councils, Councils opposing 2nd runway, County Councils, District Councils, Ealing, East Herts., Emissions, Environment, Essex, Events, Fulham, Hammersmith, Harrow, Heathrow, Heathrow expansion, Hertfordshire, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Houses of Parliament, Islington, Kensington, Lambeth, Launch, Lewisham, Local authorities, London Boroughs, Maidenhead, Merton, Richmond, Royal Boroughs, Slough, South Bucks, Southwark, Stansted, Stansted expansion, Suffolk, Sustainability, Two million voices, Uttlesford, Wandsworth, Windsor | Leave a comment

CO2 Councils opposing 2nd Runway at Stansted logo
Press release:

16 March 2008

COUNCILS UNITE AGAINST UNSUSTAINABLE AIRPORT EXPANSION

Councils Opposing 2nd Runway at Stansted (CO2)

Joins Forces with 2M Heathrow Group

Launch Event: Monday 17th March 15:30, College Green, Houses of Parliament

Councils representing over six million people will be joining together today (Monday) to state their opposition to new airport runways at Stansted and Heathrow and unacceptable environment impacts on their communities.

The event will also mark the formation the new ‘CO2’ or ‘Councils Opposing a 2nd Runway’ at Stansted campaign and its leaders will be joining forces with the leaders of the ‘2M Group’ of London councils.

The new CO2 cross-party group is made up of councils including Essex County Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Suffolk County Council, Braintree District Council, and East Herts. District Council and Uttlesford District Council and with expressions of interest from other councils in joining.

The formation of the group comes as BAA submitted a planning application earlier this week for a second runway at Stansted. CO2 will vigorously campaign against the proposals highlighting the potentially significant environmental impact and the anticipated increased pressures the proposals will have on existing infrastructure and services. The group also calls for the potential impact on local communities to be fully and independently assessed.

Lord Hanningfield, Leader of Essex County Council, said:

“CO2 will be a powerful force that will campaign on behalf of local residents to oppose this unwanted and unnecessary runway and will take the fight directly to BAA and the government. A new runway would put unbearable strain on our local services and infrastructure which are already at breaking point and it will of course cause huge environmental damage. The government’s aviation strategy needs a total rethink.

Cllr Jim Ketteridge, Leader of Uttlesford District Council, said:

“As the local authority with Stansted Airport within its boundaries, we remain strongly opposed to a second runway. It is a stance supported by all political groups on the council. We have a strong mandate in opposing the application following the result of a referendum held in the district.”

Leader of Hertfordshire County Council Robert Gordon said:

“Hertfordshire’s residents are directly affected by the growth of air traffic at Stansted, Heathrow and Luton airports. In adding our weight to the opposition to a second runway at Stansted, we also seek to build a coalition of concerned councils across the south of England in order to force a fundamental review of the government’s aviation strategy which poses a major threat to the quality of life of our people.”

Wandsworth Council leader Edward Lister said:

“The Government would be wise not to ignore the views of two local authority groups representing more than 6m people in London and the South East. We are not a small minority – concern about airport expansion is a mainstream issue. It is time for ministers to stop giving into BAA and start looking seriously at the alternatives to a policy of unlimited expansion.”

Richmond upon Thames Council leader Serge Lourie said:

“We are sending a message to Ruth Kelly that people affected by airport expansion will not be divided. The Government is out of step with the rising tide of concern about the impact of climate change. In the past it might have got away with cooking up a deal with BAA – today people expect much more from their political leaders. Ministers should tear up the airports white paper and start again with a new sustainable transport policy that sets out ways of managing the demand for air travel.”

BAA submitted the application to Uttlesford District Council earlier this week and the council will be consulting authorities and the public on it. It is envisaged that the application will then be ‘called in’ by the Secretary of State for a public inquiry anticipated to start early next year.

The Government wants to add another 222,000 flights at Heathrow by the year 2030. Expansion can only go ahead if the Government can show that air pollution levels would not exceed EU limits and noise levels would be contained within the existing 57 decibel contour. A report by the Government’s own environmental advisers (The Environment Agency) this week cast doubt on the air quality evidence. A separate report on attitudes to noise (ANASE) published last year by the Government showed that an updated benchmark for noise annoyance would be set at around 50 decibels.

A second runway at Stansted was identified in the Government’s 2003 Air Transport White Paper as a key part of its aviation strategy. The proposals put forward by BAA on Monday would mean flights from Stansted almost tripling to 70 million passengers a year (from the current 24 million passengers). Traffic on the already congested M11 and A120 routes would also increase by a factor of three with significant increases to traffic on the M25 and commuter rail routes too. The number of aircraft movements would increase by two-and-a-half times from the current 200,000 to 495,000.

Consultation on the Government’s proposals for a third runway and increased use of existing runways closed on February 27. Transport secretary Ruth Kelly is expected to announce her decision in the early summer. The Heathrow expansion plans are equivalent to building a new airport the size of Gatwick in the most densely populated part of the country.

Photo Opportunity: Monday 17th March at 3.30pm at College Green, opposite the Houses of Parliament followed by press conference in Abbey Gardens where leaders and representatives from both the CO2 and 2M groups will be available for interview.

-Ends-

For further information on CO2 or to speak to a particular local authority leader please call Scott Wilson, Communications Office on 01245 434383 or email scott.wilson@essexcc.gov.uk .

For further information on 2M please contact Steve Mayner at Wandsworth Borough Council on 0208 871 7524 or mobile 07860 481368

Notes to Editors:

• CO2 is a cross-party group of local authorities containing a population of 3.2 million people, and open to all local authorities who wish to oppose the development of a 2nd runway at Stansted.

• The 2M Group is an alliance of local authorities representing 3.3 million people concerned at the environmental impact of Heathrow expansion on their communities comprising of London Boroughs of Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Richmond, Southwark and Wandsworth, the boroughs of Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead and South Bucks District Council. 2M stood for the original two million citizens it represented but has since expanded.

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