One of the UK’s top tourist destinations has warned against expansion of a nearby airport.
Bath and North East Somerset Council (Banes), which has declared a climate emergency, said tourism “cannot be at any cost”.
Millions of tourists and day trippers visit the Georgian city each year.
Bristol Airport wants to expand to handle up to 12 million passengers a yearand has brought forward plans to make it “carbon neutral” by 2025.
“We need to plan ahead to ensure we can continue to meet demand for air travel to and from the region we serve,” it said.
The airport says it had responded to the climate emergency declarations by bringing forward its plan to reduce emissions in response to concerns made by neighbouring authorities.
This would put Bristol at the forefront of carbon reduction in the UK airport sector, it says.
It also plans an increased use of electric vehicles, a shift to renewable energy and increasing the cost of its drop-off parking as this is the “least sustainable way” to get to the airport.
Councillor Sarah Warren, Banes cabinet member for climate emergency, welcomed news the airport will reduce its direct emissions.
“It will be interesting to hear the fine details of their plans but it doesn’t alter the fact that expansion of air travel is inconsistent with having declared a climate emergency,” she said.
“While tourism is a vital sector of the economy sector… it cannot be at any cost. The challenge is to maintain the city as an important visitor destination while managing the environmental impacts of tourism.”
More than 2,000 people have objected to the proposals, including Stop Bristol Airport Expansion, and Bath’s Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse.
North Somerset Council will make a decision on the plans later this year.
Local campaign Stop Bristol Expansion says:
The Canadian owners of Bristol Airport want to increase passenger numbers by 50%, from 8 million to 12 million passengers per annum. Further growth to 20 million passengers is in the pipeline.
BRISTOL AIRPORT IS BIG ENOUGH !
Airport expansion will lead to:
- Increased greenhouse gas emissions that offset other carbon savings
- Gridlock on congested approach roads
- Noise pollution day and night affecting health and well-being
- Green belt destruction and other environmental harm
- Parking sprawl as on-site and illegal field parking spreads
Airport expansion does not provide significant benefits to the region.
Only the overseas owners will profit.
North Somerset Council, which is responsible for Airport planning and regulation, NOW HAS NEW COUNCILLORS following the local elections on 2nd May. There’s much you can do to persuade them of the case against Airport expansion – see our ‘Take Action‘ page.
PLANNING APPROVAL IS NOT YET A DONE DEAL.
THE DECISIVE MEETING OF NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL PLANNING & REGULATORY COMMITTEE HAS BEEN POSTPONED FOR THE 6TH TIME AS ACTION GROUPS PUT FORWARD YET MORE INFORMATION AND ARGUMENTS AGAINST EXPANSION.
THE LATEST DATE (as at 15 July) NOW SEEMS TO BE SOMETIME IN SEPTEMBER.
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