We are all aware that there is a Climate Emergency. So why is any sensible government allowing extra runways or airport expansion? All the councils in the West of England, and many further afield, have declared a Climate Emergency. The Committee on Climate Change highlights the fact that the aviation sector is on a path to generate more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector. This is why I am working with others to stop Bristol Airport Expansion.
Even when you take account of any savings in emissions because cars travel from the south west to Bristol rather than other UK airports, these savings pale into insignificance when compared to the increase in aviation related emissions (principally from the aircraft).
There is neither a benefit to the economy from increased business travel (because business recognises the problem and is cutting down on their travel) nor from any boost to tourism, since it has been established that the net effect of outgoing and incoming tourism is negative to the South West economy. Moreover there are relatively few extra jobs coming from any expansion to the airport.
The airport has failed to reduce the amount of car travel significantly and even the introduction of light rail to the airport from Bristol, which is essential, is expected to have a limited impact. Indeed the airport’s entire business model and financial success depends on income from car parking. Thus the increase in land take, much of which is from the green belt and over important wildlife habitats, will go primarily to more car parking.
It is significant that governments exclude aviation and shipping emissions from their emissions numbers. Clearly this is absurd.The airport itself claims to be aiming to be carbon neutral within a short period. But this excludes emissions from additional vehicle movements and flights. If the West of England is to meet its goal of reducing emissions from 2014 levels by 50% before 2035 then we will need to both reduce vehicle movements and flights.
Noise pollution, particularly at night, will worsen under the new proposals. The promised money by the airport for window insulation is a useful mitigation but of no value in the summer and to those further away from the airport such as people living in the villages along the Chew Valley, Compton Dando and South Keynsham which are directly on the flight path. Chew Valley villages, such as Chew Magna, are also impacted by light pollution as cars hurtle through the villages in the middle of the night with full beam headlights on.
Join with me, http://www.stopbristolairportexpansion.org/, the Parish Councils Airport Association and others in opposing this planning application. There are over 2,000 comments so far - please add yours. Go to https://planning.n-somerset.gov.uk/online-applications/ and search for 18/P/5118/OUT and then add your comment or objection to any or all aspect of the application.