One’s Enough, a group which opposes a second runway at Gatwick, has responded to this morning’s Airports Commission report.
A statement from the group said: “The Airports Commission has today recommended to the Government that a third runway at Heathrow is the most economically beneficial to the whole country and has the best accessibility infrastructure for the majority of the UK, but states that a second Gatwick runway is still a credible option.
“One’s Enough thinks they are wrong; the fight goes on to tell Government, and the whole country, why Gatwick is not a credible option.
“The Government and Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) should be aware that One’s Enough, alongside GACC and other likeminded organisations and thousands of people across the South East, will fight this recommendation all the way to ensure that the Government does not eventually opt for Gatwick.
“This recommendation leaves Crawley with uncertainty for the future wellbeing and happiness for all our residents and future generations.
“We are reading the detailed decision and will publish our full detailed reaction in the coming week; however, we feel it important at this time to record our key reasons for opposing the Gatwick second runway proposals:
“As stated by the Commission, Gatwick is not easily accessible to a majority of the UK population, nor will it provide the greatest economic benefit to the whole country as required by the Government in their brief to the Airports Commission.
“Gatwick’s only major link to London is the London to Brighton railway line. Gatwick’s only major link to the rest of the UK is the M23, which only connects to the M25, Britain’s most congested motorway. GAL’s plans to accommodate 96 million plus passengers, travelling to and from the airport mainly using public transport should have been seen by the Commission as unrealistic and a catastrophic hole in GAL’s whole case. The potentially required road infrastructure developments, estimated to be in the region of 10 to 15 billion pounds, to support an airport bigger than Heathrow, will be at the taxpayer’s expense.
“The GAL business case is undermined by all the major international airlines not wanting to move away from Heathrow due to their operational models. Without investment in Heathrow, BA threaten to move its main operation base to Spain. Also Easyjet, Gatwick’s biggest customer, states that it will move away from Gatwick due to an unacceptable increase in landing fees, should a second runway be built.
“One’s Enough believes a second runway at Gatwick would be an environmental disaster for Crawley, bringing unacceptable urbanisation, road congestion and air pollution from a massive increase in road usage. With an already significant and growing air pollution AQMA (Air Quality Management Area) situation in the town we are especially concerned for the health and future of our town, its residents and generations to come.
“Should the Government eventually take the “easy” option and approve the Gatwick runway, we will continue to fight it in parliament and at any public inquiry; we will fight it all the way till the bulldozers roll.
“We support the view of many others that there is no need for any new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick – because of the existing runway capacity all around the South East, the use of larger aircraft and critically as any additional runway would be contrary to climate change targets.”
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