MPs in areas affected by Gatwick say its expansion is a ‘disaster waiting to happen’

Crispin Blunt and other local MPs in the areas around Gatwick have written to Stewart Wingate to tell him that his runway proposals are a “pipe dream. ” The MPs say Gatwick’s runway application is “a developmental disaster waiting to happen”, and local communities are not large enough to support the planned expansion. They warn that planned upgrades to transport links, to deal with the current crowding, will not be sufficient for a possible trebling of current passenger numbers. Adding a runway will result in gridlocked traffic on the M23 and train problems, as more air passengers want to travel with large luggage items. Gatwick claims it can meet local air quality targets, which Heathrow cannot, but if Gatwick grows to approach the size Heathrow is now, it will have the same air quality problems. The MPs say: “The sooner this damaging pipe dream is abandoned, the better for its neighbours.” Also that there is very low local unemployment, and already a “desperate” shortage of housing. “Gatwick’s blithe assumption that the additional housing need would be met by local authorities’ existing development plans is wholly incredible”.
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Gatwick expansion a ‘disaster waiting to happen’

Crispin Blunt and other local MPs tell Stewart Wingate his proposals for a second runway are a “pipe dream”

By Nick Collins, Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)

25 Oct 2014

Gatwick Airport’s application for a second runway is “a developmental disaster waiting to happen”, a group of local MPs has claimed.

Local communities are not large enough to support the planned expansion while planned upgrades to transport links will not be sufficient for a possible trebling of current passenger numbers, they warned.

The politicians, from nearby constituencies in Sussex, Surrey and Kent, added that the proposals would result in gridlocked traffic on the M23 and more of the baggage handling chaos seen at the airport this summer.

It came as Gatwick launched a new report claiming that even with a second runway it would be able to meet EU and UK air quality targets, in contrast to Heathrow which is already in breach of standards and has raised the possibility of introducing a congestion charge.
Gatwick and Heathrow are the only airports shortlisted for expansion by Sir Howard Davies, the chairman of the Airports Commission, which is due to deliver its final report after the General Election next year.

In a letter to Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick, this week Crispin Blunt and the other members of the Gatwick Coordination Group – Sir Paul Beresford, Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley and Charles Hendry – claimed that “Heathrow’s plan for a third runway and attendant infrastructure improvements are, at least, plausible.

“The sooner this damaging pipe dream is abandoned, the better for its neighbours, and the real answer to the future of the UK’s aviation capacity can be reached.”

Gatwick’s application “lacks any serious proposals” on providing the transport infrastructure needed to support a second runway, suggesting that passenger numbers could treble from the current levels, they said.

They also claimed that Gatwick’s forecast of 22,000 new jobs on site and another 100,000 in the local area by 2050 “ignores the stark reality” that there are only 26,000 people claiming jobseekers’ allowance in the local area, and there is a “desperate” shortage of housing.

“As this summer’s disruption to luggage handling showed, Gatwick and its contractors already find it difficult to find workers to properly staff a single runway airport,” they said.
“Gatwick’s blithe assumption that the additional housing need would be met by local authorities’ existing development plans is wholly incredible”.

A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said: “Our studies show that expansion at Gatwick would deliver many upsides for our local community in terms of jobs and investment.
“We take concerns expressed by our neighbours seriously which is why we have pledged significant funds to help local authorities deliver any required new homes and infrastructure.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/aviation/11186182/Gatwick-expansion-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen.html

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Earlier:

MPs initiate “Gatwick Coordination Group” – saying 2nd runway is not in the local or national interest

MPs Crispin Blunt,  Sir Paul Beresford,  Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames,  Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry have formed the Gatwick Coordination Group.  The Group is established to represent the serious local concern at the plan for a 2nd runway. The MPs’ group released a statement saying they believe a 2nd Gatwick runway would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment. They say the level of development, associated with an airport serving nearly three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place. Also that there is no adequate plan yet presented to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support this development. “The size of the Gatwick site only lends itself to a single runway airport, serving as a sensible, competitive alternate to London’s main hub airport. While they pursue that objective, Gatwick Airport Limited will have our support, but this proposal is not in the local interest, nor is it in the national interest, and this group will work to prove that case.”

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http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/mps-initiate-gatwick-coordination-group-saying-2nd-runway-is-not-in-the-local-or-national-interest/

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MPs initiate “Gatwick Coordination Group”

 MONDAY 16th JUNE 2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

MPs Crispin Blunt, Sir Paul Beresford, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames, Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, and Charles Hendry have formed the Gatwick Coordination Group following a meeting at the House of Commons on Wednesday 11th June 2014.

The Gatwick Coordination Group is established to represent the serious local concern at the plan for a second runway at Gatwick Airport which has been shortlisted by the Davies Commission.

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has made its submission to Sir Howard Davies, which is yet to be published.  Sir Howard’s Commission will make its recommendation on airport capacity to the Government in 2015.

The MPs’ group released the following statement:

“We believe that the building of a second runway at Gatwick airport would be a disaster for the surrounding communities and environment. The level of development, associated with an airport serving nearly three times as many passengers as it does now, would devastate the local environment and leave the UK with its major airport in the wrong place.

“There is also no adequate plan yet presented to provide the necessary infrastructure, of all types, to support this development.

“The size of the Gatwick site only lends itself to a single runway airport, serving as a sensible, competitive alternate to London’s main hub airport. While they pursue that objective, Gatwick Airport Limited will have our support, but this proposal is not in the local interest, nor is it in the national interest, and this group will work to prove that case.”

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As a local constituency MP who serves in the Government, Francis Maude is not able to endorse the above statement but wishes to be kept informed of the progress of the group.

The group is chaired by Crispin Blunt MP – Office: 0207 219 2254; Mobile: 07921039891.

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