Sir Howard Davies’s Airports Commission said “no” to Gatwick Airport Ltd’s bid to squeeze a new runway between the airport and Crawley, causing noise, pollution, uncontrolled expansion and misery for the whole town.
Gatwick had its chance – it failed. One reason it failed was that it didn’t do its homework on the damage that would be caused to Crawley. Also the minimal road and rail infrastructure, only 12 miles of the M23 and the already overcrowded Brighton Line, that makes Gatwick so poorly accessible for the most of the country, especially with the potential additional 55 million passengers. Now Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s boss, is being a bad loser and blaming Sir Howard.
Sir Howard calculated that if Gatwick gets a new runway, the profit for Britain was nowhere near as much as a new runway at Heathrow, that has far greater accessibility to and from London and most of the UK. But Stewart Wingate isn’t trying to make a profit for Britain. His job is to make a profit for his owners – Global Infrastructure Partners. Sir Howard’s job is to recommend the best way forward for the people of Britain.
Crawley residents aren’t fooled. We have spare jobs that attract 27,000 commuters into Crawley every day. We don’t need more jobs. We don’t need more noise and pollution. We don’t need more commuters and road congestion. We need more affordable homes, more recreation space, more peace and quiet.
Derek Meakings, One’s Enough
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