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The environmental implications of the Airports Commission’s backing for a new south-east runway

In a recent blog, Tim Johnson (Director of the Aviation Environment Federation) says of the current pressure to build another south east runway, that the environmental implications need to be assessed very carefully indeed, before any consent is considered.  Aircraft noise remains the principal source of community conflict with airports. Noise does not merely cause annoyance, but there is also growing evidence supporting a correlation between aviation noise and ill health. There is also an established relationship between air quality and health and the EU’s legal limits mean that any expansion plans must guarantee the limits will not be breached.  Aviation’s contribution to climate change remains one of the fasting growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. UK aviation emissions already contribute around 6% of our total emissions with that proportion set to grow to 25% by 2050 (even if aviation emissions are maintained at 2005 levels). Unfortunately the Airports Commission has reached a decision on the need for a new runway before it has made an appraisal of the local issues.  It is unfortunate that the Commission has made the mistake of viewing climate change,  as well as local impacts of noise and air pollution as mere afterthoughts to their interim conclusions.
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The environmental implications of the Airports Commission’s work

By: Tim Johnson (Aviation Environment Federation)
11 February 2014

When the last government made the decision to support a third runway at Heathrow airport, it encountered strong opposition from the communities that would be affected by more aircraft noise and worsening air quality, as well as having to confront the implications for the UK’s contribution to global climate change. The combined pressure contributed to the incumbent coalition government reversing the decision on Heathrow’s third runway before they eventually set up the Airports Commission in 2012.

Aircraft noise remains the principal source of community conflict with airports and the prospect of expansion often leaves those affected fearing that more flights will worsen the existing noise problem. However, the ‘noise problem’ cannot simply be defined by annoyance – there is also growing evidence supporting a correlation between aviation noise and ill health. There is also an established relationship between air quality and health and the EU’s legal limits mean that any expansion plans must guarantee the limits, which are barely being met today in some locations, will not be breached with more aircraft and road vehicles.

Aviation’s contribution to climate change remains one of the fasting growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. In the UK, aviation emissions already contribute around 6% of our total emissions with that proportion set to grow to 25% by 2050 (even if aviation emissions are maintained at 2005 levels).

It is necessary, therefore, that any independent assessment of more runway capacity in the UK takes both the local and global environmental implications very seriously before making recommendations. Unfortunately the Airports Commission has reached a decision on the need for a new runway before it has made an appraisal of the local issues, such as noise and air pollution, leaving all options open to continued political uncertainty.

These local concerns will be considered by the Airports Commission when they review each of their shortlisted options. The goal should be to achieve measurable environmental targets, not simply limit the scale of the increases. The latter approach will not satisfy concerned communities or diminish opposition.

The Commission used the advice of the Committee on Climate Change (the government’s advisors on the issue) to conclude that the number of passengers at UK airports can grow to a sufficient level to allow a new runway to be built without making the UK’s national climate target to reduce overall emissions by 80% untenable. However, the Airports Commission did not outline the implications of allowing a new runway to be built within this framework. A key implication is for regional airports: a fully utilised new runway would mean capacity constraints on other airports across the UK so that emissions can be limited to 2005 levels.

It is unfortunate that the Airports Commission has made the mistake, as others have in the past, of viewing climate change, noise and air pollution as afterthoughts to their interim conclusions and not the integral parts of the solution. However, they must keep environmental issues at the forefront of their minds if the UK is to sustainably maintain its leading role in the aviation sector.

Runways UK 2014

Picture courtesy of Runways UK

 

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) is the principal UK organisation working on the environmental impacts of aviation. Tim Johnson, Director of the AEF, was the only speaker at the recent Runways UK event to present the environmental concerns of airport expansion in the South East.

http://www.airtransportpubs.com/airports/blog/post/environmental-concerns-of-airport-expansion-in-the-south-east

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Presentation by Tim Johnson, Director of AEF, at the recent RunwaysUK conference

Tim Johnson speaking at RunwaysUK 2014

This is the video of the presentation by Tim Johnson,(Director of AEF – the Aviation Environment Federation) at the recent RunwaysUK conference, on 16th January. 14 minutes of important environmental information (noise, carbon, air pollution, biodiversity, impacts on local communities) and valuable common sense.  It sums up concisely why a new runway could not be built and used, even keeping within the current Committee on Climate Change guidelines.  If a new runway is built in the south east, it will mean growth having to be limited retrospectively at other, regional, airports across the UK.  Increasing the north-south divide.  Well worth watching.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUKd4fMC82g&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1

Tim was the only speaker on environmental matters at the conference. Almost all others speaking were in favour of a new runway. The other videos from the conference are at http://www.runwaysuk.com/postshow-resources/video

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Opponents of expanding Billy Bishop lakeside airport in Toronto say they will not compromise in fighting the damaging plans

The fight by Toronto citizens against permission for much noisier  jets to use Billy Bishop lakeside airport continues. There has been the suggestion that there could be “compromise” to resolve the dispute. Opponents do not accept this, as the impact of effectively doubling the size of the lakeside airport  - with jets not turboprops; with greatly lengthened runway and rows of light approach towers extending up to 700 metres beyond the runways; and planes landing and taking off every two minutes. There would also need to be high and obtrusive walls lining the runways to shield small boats using the lake from jet thrust. And on the land side, doubled volumes of traffic carrying passengers, jet fuel, services and etc creating bad road congestion. That is on top of noise concerns, impacts on air quality and habitat. Concerned residents fear the expansion means not a change in degree, but a different kind of airport. The justifications for the rush to judgement to approve this massive shift are convenience for some business travellers and a purported economic advantage. Campaigners against say both are specious.  Much more important is what would be sacrificed. Toronto people love their waterfront, which has been improved by adding new and improved places for the public to enjoy. The airport would destroy much of that. 
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See more about No Jet T.O. at http://www.nojetsto.ca/about-us/

and on Twitter at 

@NoJetsTO

 and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NoJetsTO 

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Background to the story of the fight in Toronto against expansion of the lakeside airport.

In Toronto expansion of lakeside Billy Bishop airport is strenuously opposed by thousands whose lives it would adversely affect

Pearson airport is the main airport for Toronto. It has several long runways, can take large jets, and had around 35 million passengers in the past year. By contrast, Billy Bishop waterfront airport is tiny, lying along the lake edge close to central Toronto. Its one runway, by the water, is only about 1,200 metres and it had 2 million passengers last year. There are plans to greatly expand Billy Bishop airport, with the runway extended by 200 metres at both ends, to take jets rather than the current turboprops. There are plans for greatly increased numbers of passengers. There has been very vocal opposition from the local group, NoJetsTO, who fear having this enlarged airport will have highly negative impacts on the city, creating noise, air pollution, water pollution, disruption to leisure activities that take place on the lake, traffic congestion, interference with childrens’ learning in school, and lowering the quality of life of many living in the area. They say the large jets should stay at Pearson airport, which is well equipped to deal with them. Now the airport’s plans, by Porter Airlines, will not be considered by the city until February. Toronto city’s executive committee voted to defer debate of the controversial proposal till February 4 or to a specially called meeting. Details at http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=18568

 


 

Toronto Star Op-Ed: No Compromise Possible on Jets

February 9, 2014  (From No Jets T.O – Save Toronto’s waterfront)
 by tim

Op-Ed Titled “Island Airport Expansion is a Change in Kind not a Change in Degree”

Wikimedia_Photo_CS100_Jet_2014-01-31

TORONTO – It has been suggested that there should be a “compromise” to resolve the dispute over Toronto’s island airport. After all, this is the Canadian way. Some well-meaning voices say: “I am for state-of-the-art ‘quiet’ jets but against any substantial increase in service; can’t we just limit the volume of flights to protect the livability of the waterfront and surrounding neighbourhoods?”

But that option is not on the table. The proposal is to double the size of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to equal the capacity of Ottawa’s International Airport serving between 4.3 and 4.8 million passengers a year.

Picture runway extensions the length of two football fields at both ends into Toronto Harbour and into the Western Gap, with enlarged exclusion zones to keep boat traffic away. Picture rows of light approach towers extending up to 700 metres beyond the runways as mandated by Transport Canada to accommodate planes landing and taking off every two minutes.

Add to that high and obtrusive walls lining the runways to shield small boats from jet thrust. And on the land side, doubled volumes of traffic carrying passengers, jet fuel, services and supplies overwhelm the already impossibly congested five-point intersection at Bathurst, Lake Shore and Fleet. This on top of noise concerns, impacts on air quality and habitat.

This is not a change in degree; it is a profound change in kind. We are talking about a different kind of airport.

Both the city’s medical officer of health and the board of Waterfront Toronto have sounded the alarm. If an application were made today for a new airport the size of the Ottawa International Airport on the Toronto waterfront, the incompatibility would be perfectly obvious. This doubling (and change in kind) is being rushed through as though it were an incremental modification with no clear applicant, no environmental assessment, no completed master plan, no jet planes certified, no business plan, no infrastructure plan and no funds to implement.

The justifications for the rush to judgment to approve this massive shift are convenience for some business travellers and a purported economic advantage. Both are specious. The net benefits in either case, given the opening of the air-rail link next year, are likely marginal. Much more important is what would be sacrificed.

It is our waterfront. From south Etobicoke to the Scarborough Bluffs and beyond, what is emerging all along the Toronto waterfront is one of the most remarkable transformations of its kind anywhere. The revitalization of these strategically located, obsolescent lands is providing new and improved places for the public to enjoy: parks and trails, a linked series of neighbourhoods, places to live and work, and places of recreation, repose and natural beauty.

Waterfront_Toronto_Image_Revitalized_Queens_Quay_2014-02-10

It’s “cottage country” in the heart of the city.

The waterfront is where Toronto is reinventing itself for the 21st century, adjusting to the city’s new southern face. Our waterfront is materializing as the collective work of generations of Torontonians, supported by investments of all three levels of government and the private sector.

Its future contours are just becoming visible as the many pieces fall into place — from the promise of a revived Ontario Place/Exhibition Place, including the newly announced park, to the music garden shaped by Yo-Yo Ma and the Queens Quay Greenway currently under construction, to Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common in the heart of the new East Bayfront neighbourhood, with George Brown College and $2.6 billion of private investment in progress — making it one of the largest such revitalization efforts in the world.

The problem is that this entire band of waterfront is on the flight path of and bisected by the overburdened “land path” leading to Billy Bishop airport. And unlike the other cities where a close-by airport is somewhat removed from the core, Billy Bishop sits right on Toronto Harbour, the heart and focal point of this entire endeavour, the gateway to our unique treasure, the Toronto Islands.

The key to the waterfront’s future success is that one activity not be allowed to dominate the others. This equilibrium breaks down when a single element is overscaled to the point that its impacts impair other uses and activities. That is what the proposed expansion of the airport would do.

This is not about Porter Airlines. The proposed expansion of the island airport would inevitably open it to major carriers like Air Canada, WestJet and United, which have already declared their intentions.

The existing airport is an accepted fact. Its continued presence has been based on the understanding set out in the 1983 tripartite agreement that allows only turboprop passenger service at Billy Bishop airport with additional expansion capacity. That is the compromise that was already reached and should be honoured.

Ken Greenberg is the former head of urban design in the Toronto planning department; Anne Golden is chair of the Transit Investment Advisory Panel; David Crombie is a former mayor of Toronto; Jack Diamond is a Toronto-based international architect; Paul Bedford was the chief planner of Toronto. 

 

http://www.nojetsto.ca/toronto-star-op-ed-compromise-possible-jets/

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Pearson airport is the main airport for Toronto.

 

But there is another fight about yet another airport for Toronto:

 

In Toronto uncertainty continues over a possible new Pickering airport, with citizen opposition

4.9.2013

There has been a long fight against the building of a new Pickering airport for Toronto. In their 40-plus years of struggle against a development –  in a growing suburb to the east of the city - many citizens feel priority is given to business interests over prime agricultural farmland.  Until a firm and unequivocal commitment is made by Ottawa to abandon the project completely the citizen activists central to the struggle to halt the development can never be sure the project won’t find new life, at some distant moment, under yet another government. Most frustrating for those who oppose the project is that in their view there has never been an adequate explanation for why Pickering needs its own Mirabel, a Greater Toronto Hamilton Area equivalent of Montreal’s white elephant airport that has become synonymous with poor air transport planning in Canada. “Land Over Landings” is the community group that leads opposition to the airport plan. It is continuing the public engagement their predecessors began in 1972.They  say that clean water and local food will always be more vital than easy access to yet another area airport.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17654
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Fears in Heathrow area that a 3rd runway with associated infrastructure could add to local flood risk

The western end of Heathrow is within 3 miles of the River Thames. The western end of the airport is within 3 – 4 miles of Datchet, Old Windsor and Wraysbury, as well as Staines. These areas are currently experiencing unprecedented flooding, due to some of the wettest weather and more continuous storms and rainfall for several hundred years (which is consistent with predictions of climate change from rising global CO2 emissions). Heathrow airport itself covers a huge area in impermeable surfaces, and its storm drainage is on a vast scale. There were already fears from previous years of its impact on the drainage of  the area. It has the River Colne running along its western edge, and the River Crane along its eastern edge.  A report in 2003 for Hacan recommended that a full EIA should be carried out on the impact of a 3rd runway on the Heathrow flood plain; and that as expansion of Heathrow would have a significant impact on water levels in an area much wider than just the Heathrow flood plain a detailed analysis is carried out in the impact a 3rd runway would have on rivers across a wider area. In addition  that no decision should be made on a 3rd runway until full analysis has been done and has been put out to wide public consultation.
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Map showing course of the Thames close to Heathrow Red line shows course of River Thames

Map showing location of River Colne, along the western edge of Heathrow, and the River Crane along the east of the airport

 

UK flood victims on alert as fears of looting and yet more water intensify

Residents whose homes and businesses are hit by rising Thames voice anger that help has come largely from volunteers
Flooded homes in Old Windsor

As darkness fell, residents of flooded areas in Berkshire just a couple of miles from Heathrow formed community groups to watch over their homes in the absence of the police.

“We’ve seen a few suspicious looking vans without number plates just prowling around in the last couple of days,” said Richard Levett, standing in knee-high water as planes roared over the suburban bungalows and two-storey homes around Brookside Avenue, part of an estate a mile north of the centre of Wraysbury.

Floodwaters rush into a home in Wraysbury

Floodwaters rush into a home in Wraysbury. (Andy Rain/EPA)

“And they want to build the new runway here?” he added, pointing to a two-storey house that he said had sold for £1.1m some months ago, but which now had small brown waves lapping at the front door.

Next door, an elderly couple were packing their belongings into a car as they headed off to spend the night in a hotel, locking up their flooded bungalow behind them. “It’s just crazy. People have been warning BAA [Heathrow's operators] that this area was at risk of flooding like this.”

In common with other locals gathered at corners of the estate, there was frustration both at the media and at the authorities for not paying attention to flooding in the area, which was said to have started at least two days ago.

Residents said a police helicopter had flown over the area earlier in the day and asked, via loudspeaker, if anyone wanted to be evacuated. By the early evening however, there was no sign of anything like the yellow-vested groups of officials to be seen elsewhere in and around Staines and Wraysbury, an area where many homes had barely dried out since the last flooding in the area.

Among the volunteers was John Burrows, who lives in the Brookside estate with his wife and two daughters, one of whom has limited mobility.
“The water was up to the top step of our house by early evening and we’ve been told to expect another foot tonight, so it seems like it’s going to come into our house,” said Burrows, who was making his way from his house through near waist-high water in his waders.

“We moved in here in 2004 but we really never expected that it could be like this. We’re going to stay tonight and see what happens, although we’re going to be moving as many things as possible up to upper floors of the house.

“The one thing about it all is that the local sense of community has really come through. People have been looking out for each other, knocking on doors and organising themselves into groups for this evening. To be honest, there could have been more support from the authorities. There could have been more sandbags distributed for example.”

Minutes later, a van arrived carrying a fibre-glass bottomed boat. Behind the wheel was Leo Hibbett, who had made the journey from Ashford, Surrey, to bring supplies – and a pair of wellies – for his 73-year-old mother who was stranded in her house at the top of the estate.

“I’m bringing some things down to her and I’ll probably try to also rescue the fridge freezer, which is in her garage, but she is happy to stay there for now anyway,” said Hibbett, who was helped by local residents to haul the boat down from the van before he took to the oars and rowed away.

As the waters continued to rise last night, groups of residents waited to help others who decided that they may want to leave their homes, while some turned their thoughts to how they would get to work today with cars trapped inside driveways and some stations along the rail line to Londonclosed.

Looking back on recent days, many pointed the finger at the distribution of flood defences which they said had prioritised some areas at the expense of areas such as Wraysbury and Datchet, another village which was also hard hit by the floods but where the army and emergency services had been working since Sunday.

In Datchet, Tracey Green, 43, said: “If we get more rain tonight and tomorrow I think it’s going to be quite rough. We’re already prepared at home. We’ve moved stuff upstairs. It’s bad, really bad.”

“I hope they’ve got some sort of SOS plan in mind. There’s a lot of elderly people in this village. I think it could be potentially quite bad. Somerset and what’s going on there at the moment is evidence of that. (I’m) dreading it to be honest.”

….. and there is more about the West Country …….

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/10/flooding-river-thames-severn-heathrow-worcester

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Interesting report done for HACAN in 2003 about drainage from Heathrow airport, and implications for flooding from a 3rd runway with all associated infrastructure.

http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/hacan.flooding_report.pdf

 

The report starts by saying:

The Department for Transport admits building a 3rd runway at Heathrow will cause a major
problem with flooding on the surrounding flood plain. But only devotes two paragraphs of a
170 page report to it. HACAN ClearSkies delves beneath the surface……

 

One section of the report is copied below:

Part 1: Lack of Government Research

The Department for Transport admits in SERAS that a 3rd runway could cause flooding problems:

“Both options, maximum use of the existing runway and a new runway option, present
potential High Adverse impacts on surface water and groundwater. There are numerous
areas of contami nation around the airport that are at risk of being mobilised within all the
development options. Although this could be controlled through appropriate management,
there is a high risk to the aquifer which is an important resource. All of the options require
engineering works, diverting or culverting, to at least one river. The Environment Agency is
generally opposed to culverting and such works are seen as a significant impact.” (para
7.23)

“The extra passengers associ ated with an additional runway add to the demand for water which may be difficult to meet, even with supply and demand management and water saving
technology” (para 7.24)
The Department for Transport says nothing more about the flooding problem if a 3rd runway is built at Heathrow. There is no evidence to suggest:

- it has done any detailed work;

-  it has asked the Environment Agency to look the situation. The Environment Agency confirm
that no ground water modelling has been carried out by them to assess the impact on the flood plain of the proposed third runway. The Department claim modelling w ill be done after
Government approval.

- it has made any attempt to see what solutions may be available;

- it has used PPG 25 (Planning Policy Guidance 25), which issues guidance for building on flood plains, to assess the impact of a 3rd runway on this flood plain.

 

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And the report concludes:

Part 7: Recommendations

Flooding has been a significant problem for areas in and around the Heathrow
flood plain in recent years. According to scientific experts, severe floods will
occur more often in coming decades. Therefore, it would appear that the
Department for Transport has been irresponsible in not assessing the impact of a
3rd runway on the flood plain before the publication of the Aviation White Paper.
This report, therefore, recommends:

-  that a full Environmental Assessment is carried out on the impact of a 3rd
runway on the Heathrow flood plain.

It is clear that 3rd runway could have a significant impact on water levels in an
area much wider than just the Heathrow flood plain. This report, therefore,
recommends:

- that a detailed analysis is carried out in the impact a 3rd runway would have on
rivers across a wider area.
And, finally, this report recommends:

-that no decision is made on a 3rd runway until the above work has been done
and has been put out to wide public consultation.

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Outskirts of London now flooding – HEATHROW AIRPORT only 24 feet higher than flood water

February 10th, 2014
The Thames is now flooding Egham & another town,Staines which is west of central London.
Staines is just 2.5 miles from Heathrow airport.
Elevation of Staines 18m.
Elevation of Heathrow: 26m.24 foot difference.

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Friends Of the River Crane Environment

 http://www.force.org.uk/

The River Crane and Duke of Northumberland’s River form part of West London Green Chain, a twenty mile chain of interconnected green spaces that runs along the River Crane and its key tributary, the Yeading Brook, to the River Thames. It is recognised as a vital wildlife corridor, allowing the movement of birds and small mammals and the distribution of plant species through the urban landscape of west London. If you are not exactly sure where this area is then look at Streetmap

Friends Of the River Crane Environment  (FORCE) was formed in the summer of 2003 to represent the interests of local residents regarding the River Crane and Duke of Northumberland’s River and their respective corridors within the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and its environs, and to provide sustainable improvements to these environments for the benefit of local people and visitors, the flora and fauna.

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Earlier:

Thames Water’s dilemma: flood Heathrow or a river with sewage?

When the company was forced to choose between economic infrastructure and the natural world, the ecosystem lost

Juliette blog on sewage being discharged in River Crane in West Londo

River life along a seven-mile stretch of a tributary of the River Thames has been wiped out after a major pollution incident. An estimated 3,000 fish have been killed so far. Photograph: UK Environment Agency

Imagine the scene: tens of thousands of tonnes of sewage have backed up behind a jammed gate and a decision has to be made – to flood one of the world’s busiest airports or inundate a small river very few people know exist.

It is a stark version of the choices made daily around the planet between costly economic infrastructure and the natural world: inevitably, the River Crane, and its populations of perch, eels, kingfishers and dragonfly larvae, lost.

The Environment Agency, the UK’s official enforcement body, now reports almost the entire west London river has been “killed” by the huge influx of grey sludge washed down the toilets and drains of nearby Heathrow airport, starting last Saturday night. Experts, who estimate 3,000 fish are floating dead in and along the oxygen-starved Thames tributary, say it will take “months, probably years” to recover. Anglers and other people are being warned to stay out of the water in the seven mile stretch from the A4 to the River Thames at Twickenham, though the risk to the Thames itself is thought to be low.

Thames Water issued an apology in which the company said engineers battled for hours to free the jammed sluice gate and commandeered 20 trucks to haul sewage away by road before being:

“Faced with the unpalatable choice of letting the remaining sewage back up into the airport or spill to the River Crane, we were forced to opt for the latter.”

The company also stressed that rather than wait for a prosecution, it had volunteered to work with the Environment Agency on an immediate clean-up.

There will be many who support Thames Water’s decision: the closure of such a crucial piece of infrastructure would have caused chaos, for passengers around the world, and taken days to sort out. Others will feel that the ecology of a whole river, in an already built-up area, is more important than some temporary (and smelly) inconvenience to passengers. The Crane might not have the romance of a wild salmon stream or the majesty of one of the great rivers of the world, but in a heavily urbanised and industrial area it will be, literally, a lifeline for far more than fish: for plants, insects and birds and small mamals to live in and travel through, and a valuable green space for local people.

In this case, too, the comparison of choices is also made harder by conflicting stories about the scale of likely consequences. Thames told me its modelling showed that, had it not released the sewage into the Crane, it would have washed down into the road tunnel entering Heathrow, forcing the owners, BAA, to close the airport on Sunday afternoon, as thousands of people returned from half-term holidays. It could also have affected the airport’s fire brigade, said the company.

However a spokeswoman for Heathrow told me:

“There was a possible risk to terminals one and three but there were contingency plans in place to avoid disruption to passengers.”

Those plans included trucking in temporary loo blocks and trucking out the sewage. The EA said it was told after the sewage was released into the river.

Weighing on Thames Water’s corporate mind might also have been the likelihood of enormous negative publicity and millions of pounds of possible compensation claims from BAA, airlines, hotels and other local businesses.

In the event, almost nobody but local groups noticed the Crane dying, and the cost of a clean-up is more likely to be in the tens of thousands. Fish don’t sue.

Later Richard Aylard, the company’s director of external affairs and sustainability, contacted the Guardian to explain that the original statement might have been misleading. “There wasn’t a situation where there was a man with a lever in front of him saying ‘one way: flood Heathrow; the other way: flood the river’,” said Aylard. Instead, said Aylard, engineers had to decide whether to block the built-in sewage overflow into the Crane, without knowing where the raw sewage might end up if they did. “They took what they thought was the right decision at the time, which was not to over-ride a built in safety mechanism,” he added.

There is far more awareness of the value of nature’s “ecosystem services”, especially after the publication last year of a global assessment commissioned by the UN, and this year in the UK theNational Ecosystem Assessment and the attendent Natural Environment White Paper. All have generated a lot of interest in monetising nature, and some hope that within a few years planned decisions – in this case whether to make a river teeming with wildlife the default emergency sewage drain – will take better account of those values.

Creating an environment in which more immediate decisions are made which at least give the environment a fair chance against more obvious economic interests is harder to do, though, admits Ian Bateman, professor of environmental economics at the University of East Anglia.

“The big one will be when you make it in the interest of private companies to make profits out of the environment: then they’ll have an interest in the environmental quality,” he suggests.

Allowing companies to make profits from protecting the natural world will be very controversial with many of its most vocal protectors. But it needs to be considered if we are to reach a point where a sewage company would consider flooding a road before a river.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2011/nov/03/thames-water-heathrow-river-sewage

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Heathrow airport’s website says of water:

 

Water

Heathrow conservation site balancing reservoir

Airports use a large amount of water and create a significant amount of rainfall runoff which must be managed appropriately before it leaves the airport. This is required to avoid harm to local watercourses and flooding.

As Heathrow’s owner, we work to reduce the amount of water needed for airport activities and to supply water from more sustainable sources where possible.

Managing water

Use and source water in a sustainable way

  • Reducing demand for water by using water efficient technologies in all new buildings and during refurbishment of older facilities, investigating and repairing leaks and raising awareness of the importance of water efficiency.
  • Using non-potable water where feasible for sanitation, irrigation and other activities instead of using treated mains drinking water.

Control pollution hazards at source

  • Minimising pollution risks and encouraging  airport third party companies to minimise any impacts from their activities.
  • Wherever possible, contain the contamination from winter de-icing activity (airport and aircraft) including recovering used aircraft de-icing fluid where practicable.
  • Respond immediately to incidents and contain any harmful substances as close to the source as possible.

Protect and enhance local water courses

  • Control the flow and quality of water entering local watercourses through extensive pollution control infrastructure.  This includes reservoirs and balancing ponds to store runoff and advanced biological treatment facilities.
  • Investment planned during 2014-2019 to further improve the airport’s pollution control infrastructure.
  • Regular monitoring of local water courses to assess the health of the aquatic environment

http://www.heathrowairport.com/about-us/community-and-environment/sustainability/environment/water

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.Comment from a resident  in Harmondsworth about recent flooding.

11.2.2014

“We are seeing the consequences of river diversions for airport terminals. I was told a couple of weeks ago that gates on the river had been closed to keep, I thought T4 dry, and the result was flooding in Accommodation Lane/Saxon Way, flooding the allotments and impacting on the property over the bridge in Moor Lane and the other farm near the bollards in Accommodation Lane. The River Colne, Saxon Lake, and footpaths have become one and are impassable from Harmondsworth Moor. No access to West Drayton unless you have a canoe or plan to swim! ”

Map showing area mentioned

Heathrow saxon way map accommodation lane

More about Harmondsworth Moor (close to the are a mentioned above).

another local resident said:

“A 3rd runway WILL be built on the floodplain…..They messed around with the local rivers for Terminal 5 and now look what’s happening.”


 

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14 January 2014 (BBC)

Wraysbury residents say Jubilee River is a ‘disaster’

Old Windsor residents say it has caused more homes to flood since it opened

Work by the Environment Agency to control flood water on the Thames has been a “disaster” for Wraysbury, according to residents.

The £110m Jubilee River opened in 2002, and was planned to reduce flooding in Maidenhead, Windsor, Eton and Cookham.

Wraysbury and Old Windsor residents say it has caused more homes to flood since it opened.

The agency said the scheme was working as planned and it may extend the river to protect more flood-prone areas.

The Jubilee River
  • In flood conditions the Jubilee River diverts water from the River Thames upstream of Maidenhead
  • This reduces flood levels in the River Thames running through Maidenhead, Windsor, Eton and Cookham
  • The Jubilee River rejoins the Thames downstream of Windsor, and does not provide protection to communities downstream of the scheme
  • The Environment Agency states the Jubilee River does not adversely affect flood levels downstream
  • The Jubilee River has been running at full capacity since 7 January
  • This is the first time the Jubilee River has run at full capacity since it was opened in 2002

‘Sacrificial lambs’

Graham Sinclair, who lives in Wraysbury, said his neighbours were “very angry”.

“It’s grossly unfair that a man-made river can be to the benefit of some people and to the detriment of others,” he said.

Flood warden Gillie Bolton who lives on Ham Island in Old Windsor, said: “I believe we are being used as sacrificial lambs to stop Maidenhead from flooding.”

However, the Environment Agency says the Jubilee River has worked well to protect Maidenhead and Eton.

The Environment Agency’s Barry Russell said a review had been held following similar floods in 2003, which found the Jubilee River was operating as planned.

He said the agency planned to extend the scheme to protect Wraysbury and Old Windsor in the future, but this would cost £256m.

“We have very extensive plans to continue the Jubilee River all the way down from Datchet down to Teddington.

“It’s very expensive but it’s got huge support,” he said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-25727040

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Lowfield Heath remembered – the ‘ghost village’ destroyed to build Gatwick airport

Memories of a village that was demolished as Gatwick Airport grew have resurfaced as campaigners fight plans for a 2nd Gatwick runway. Lowfield Heath disappeared in the 1970s after the then Gatwick aerodrome expanded into an international airport from the 1950s onwards. Today the only buildings that remain of the village are its windmill and Grade II* listed church.  The windmill was moved but the church still stands – surrounded by industrial estates. In the church is a plaque commemorates a reunion in 1989 of “those who formed the village community at the outbreak of the second world war in 1939 and whose homes and village were subsequently displaced by Gatwick international airport”.  The sad fate of Lowfield Heath is a “salutary reminder” of what can happen to a village next to an airport determined to expand. It was once a nice little community with a cricket club, a school and a WI. After the present Gatwick runway was built in 1958, people remained in Lowfield Heath because of a lack of compensation, but life became intolerable by the 1970s because of the noise of airport jets.  But then in 1973 the area became an industrial development zone, so residents could sell their homes at “a large price” for warehousing and hangars. So they moved away. 
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Gatwick runway plans: Lowfield Heath ‘ghost village’ remembered

By Tanya Gupta

8 February 2014  (BBC)

Historic aerial view of Lowfield HeathIn 1984, after homes had been demolished, local historian Jean Shelley wrote that no life was to be seen in the “ghost village” of Lowfield Heath except on Sundays when the church held its service

Memories of a village that was demolished as Gatwick Airport grew have resurfaced as campaigners fight plans for a second runway in West Sussex.

Lowfield Heath disappeared in the 1970s after the then Gatwick aerodrome expanded into an international airport from the 1950s onwards. Today the only buildings that remain of the village are its windmill and Grade II* listed church.

The windmill was moved but the church still stands – surrounded by industrial estates.

Inside St Michael and All Angels, the names of parishioners and their stories can be seen on plaques, World War One memorials and stained glass windows.

And a plaque commemorates a reunion in 1989 of “those who formed the village community at the outbreak of the second world war in 1939 and whose homes and village were subsequently displaced by Gatwick international airport”.

Patrick Cox, chairman of the Charlwood Society in Surrey which opposes Gatwick’s expansion, has said the fate of Lowfield Heath should act as a “salutary reminder” of what can happen to a village next to an airport.

He said several small communities had been fighting airport developments in the South East – Stanwell Moor near Heathrow, Charlwood near Gatwick, and All Hallows near the site of a proposed airport on the Isle of Grain in Kent.

St Michael and All Angels Church, Lowfield HeathLowfield Heath’s church still stands but surrounded by industrial estates and warehouses instead of a village

Brendon Sewill, who is now in his 80s and has lived in Charlwood since the age of three, remembers Lowfield Heath as being “a very sad story”.

Mr Sewill, the chairman of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, said: “It was a nice little community with a cricket club, a school and a Women’s Institute, and people were sad that little community was lost.”

‘No life’

He said that after the present Gatwick runway was built in 1958, people remained in Lowfield Heath because of a lack of compensation, but life became intolerable by the 1970s because of the noise of airport jets.

But then in 1973 the area became an industrial development zone, which meant residents could sell their homes at “a large price” for warehousing and hangars, he added.

Houses were gradually demolished until the only buildings left were the church and a windmill, Mr Sewill said.

In 1984, local historian Jean Shelley wrote: “Today only the church remains. Once the centre of a happy village, it is now the centre of a community of warehouses.

“No life is to be seen in this ghost village, except each Sunday when morning service is held.”

Soon after that, the Lowfield Heath windmill came under threat because the land it stood on was being sold for development. In 1987, it was moved to neighbouring Charlwood.

Then only the church remained, but that fell vacant after the congregation dwindled, Mr Sewill said.

Lowfield Heath WindmillLowfield Heath Windmill was under threat from planned development but was moved to Charlwood where it was restored

Now the building is used by the Horley Seventh Day Adventists, but it could be demolished to make way for Gatwick’s planned second runway, according to Pastor Matthew Herel, who became the minister there last year.

Gatwick said it had been shortlisted by the airports commission as a location for a new runway and would be ensuring community issues were looked at closely.

‘Like jewel box’

Pastor Herel, who has researched Lowfield Heath’s history, said the villagers left “an indelible imprint”.

He said the war memorials inside and outside the church, which was built in 1867 by architect William Burges, were particularly moving.

“A hundred years ago, lives were lost, but we have a record of it,” he said. “They did something really courageous. They laid down their lives for people they didn’t know.”

He added: “Everything else in this village has gone except this building. That says to me they did leave a legacy – in the physical bricks and mortar and the stories that we have.”

Those stories include the death of the village school’s head teacher at the age of 36, a tribute to a pilot whose aircraft crashed at Lowfield Heath, a former chorister who was killed in action in World War One, and a series of stained glass windows donated by the Dalton family who lived in the village.

Plaque commemorating service held for the reunion of people who used to live in the village
A plaque in the porch commemorates a service held in 1989 for a reunion of people who used to live in Lowfield Heath

World War One memorial, St Michael and All Angels, Lowfield Heath

The names of men from the village who died in World War One are shown on a memorial in the graveyard and are also listed inside the church
Dog sculpture
The roof of the church has a memorial to the architect’s dog, which died when the building was under construction
Pastor Matthew Herel
Pastor Matthew Herel said wooden features of the building, such as the pews, choir seats and doors, were all designed by the architect William Burges
Stained glass window
Stained glass windows in the church were donated by the Dalton family who lived in the village

Tom Ashley, from the Victorian Society, said the church was Grade II* listed which put it in the top 5% of listed buildings, and it had to be considered “one of the finest Victorian churches in the country”.

He said William Burges was among the top Victorian architects and his buildings were “like jewel boxes”, displaying incredible decoration, innovation and invention.

He said if a second runway was built, which would not be any time soon, the church would be “in the firing line”.

But he said: “If it were to happen then there is maybe hope for the church to be moved, as has happened elsewhere.”

In a statement, Gatwick Airport said: “London Gatwick has been shortlisted by the government-appointed Airports Commission as one of two locations for where the next runway could go.

“We will now be carrying out more detailed runway studies and will ensure that local community issues and concerns are looked at closely and minimised wherever practicable.”

It said the airport would be running public consultation in April and would use responses to refine its options and provide the airports commission with additional and updated information.

Back at the church, the minister said the threat of demolition had loomed over the building for many years.

“As a church we just carry on. There is still no guarantee about what is going to happen. We will carry on worshipping here and leave it in God’s hands,” he said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-26030110

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“Today only the church remains. Once the centre of a happy village, it is now the centre of a community of warehouses”

Jean Shelley, local historian
Writing in 1984 in ‘Lowfield Heath Remembered’

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One of England’s most notable Gothic Revival architects

William Burges

  • He studied medieval architecture and designed the Cathedral of Brisbane, Australia, in 1859 and in 1862 St Finbar’s Cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Cork
  • In 1865 Burges started an extensive restoration of Cardiff Castle and worked on the project until his death
  • Burges adopted the Victorian Gothic style for his own home in London

 

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Tranquility will be gone forever  - Letter

8 February 2014
(West Sussex Gazette)

No, double-glazing does not stop the boom nor the screams of planes that use our skies as a free for all daily. Sit outside and you get the full force of an aircraft boom. The noise of planes 2,000ft and 7,000ft drowns out birdsong of a day and TV shows of an evening, and my historic village is not on the flightpath yet!

This ‘I’m Alright Jack’ attitude from councillors that live in Chichester or those that have CVs heaped in aviation do not seem to be listening to us residents that will suffer the fallout of mass housing in our county if Gatwick is allowed to build another runway – 40,000 houses is the figure that WSCC, Crawley Borough Council and Gatwick Diamond consultants reported!

A platform is being given by HDC on 13th February only to those that seek to prosper from our area but us ‘sad’ residents are only allowed ten SELECTED questions to be asked. Us residents that voted and put these councillors in a position of power and yet they decided to only showcase the likes of Gatwick Diamond.

Us ‘sad’ residents have paid our council tax so shouldn’t we have a say about the destruction of our area?

I feel sorry for all those people buying new homes that do not know that these councillors, and the likes of Gatwick and Gatwick Diamond, are trying to turn our area into Hounslow with all the social issues connected to lack of infrastructure.

The number of homes already being built places a burden on an already struggling system let alone the anticipated number required to feed an airport as big as Heathrow.

They wish to build a new runway, the size of 1,875-plus football pitches in the floodplain, and line our roads with industrial units which brings with them fleets of HGVs.

Is it common sense after all the flooding, with so many homes being flooded, that Gatwick wants to build on the floodplains!

We all saw headlines of 100 flights cancelled and stranded passengers and we all suffered the flooded roads and rail landslides. Water does not disappear it is just dispersed into other areas. ‘I’m Alright Jack’ again.

We can rejoice our Sussex history but what legacy are we leaving future generations as they will look back on this council the same way as we look at those that allowed Tower Hamlets to be built.

Make the most of the tranquility of events at Knepp Castle now, as that will be gone forever as will the tranquility of West Sussex, Surrey and Kent. This is not just about Crawley or a few villages; this is about all our lives being affected for the worse.

You have to ask, where is the democracy? By the time of the elections in May 2015 it will be too late to stop these councillors from bringing economic gridlock to our area.

I wonder when they need an ambulance and it is stuck in traffic and can’t reach them, or need a hospital bed and it is not available, whether they will look back to the disastrous consequence of their actions.

SALLY PAVEY

Mayes Lane, Warnham
http://www.westsussextoday.co.uk/news/letters/letter-tranquility-will-be-gone-forever-1-5860000

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George Osborne kicks off Northern Hub investment with start of 4th platform at Manchester Airport station

George Osborne has launched the start of work to build a 4th platform at Manchester airport’s railway station. This marks the start of the £600n Northern Hub project.  The airport says the 4th platform project  – costing £20m – will be delivered 18 months earlier than hoped, with works carried out in parallel to the expansion of Metrolink lines to the airport. It is due to be completed by the end of 2015. The aim is to lay more track to improve the region’s heavily-congested rail network, on which other work is also ongoing. The local MP talked about how this rail  platform will help us to “compete in the global race” !?  The hope is that better rail in the north of England will “ensure growth is not concentrated in any one place by keeping Britain connected and creating thousands of local jobs, delivering a brighter economic future for the whole country.” The airport said the new rail scheme would be “key to boosting passenger numbers, luring businesses to its £800m Airport City scheme”. The Beijing Construction Engineering Group is teaming-up with Manchester Airports Group, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and UK construction firm Carillion to invest in the project, “which aims to create up to 16,000 jobs.”
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George Osborne kicks off £600m Northern Hub investment at Manchester Airport

7 Feb 2014 (Manchester Evening News)
The chancellor marked the start of work to build a fourth platform at the airport’s rail station

The biggest investment in Manchester’s railways since the Victorian era was today set to be launched by Chancellor George Osborne.

The £600n Northern Hub project was due to be kicked off with the announcement a fourth platform will be built at Manchester Airport train station.

And bosses say that project – costing £20m – will be delivered 18 months earlier than hoped, with works carried out in parallel to the expansion of Metrolink lines to the airport.

Completion of the platform, set to be by the end of 2015, will mark the first milestone for the wider Northern Hub, a scheme to lay new track to improve the region’s heavily-congested rail network.

It will run alongside the current £400m scheme to electrify the lines between Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Blackpool by 2016. Combined with the £44m Victoria Station facelift it takes total investment to more than £1bn.

The Tatton MP was set to say: “The government’s long term plan is about securing a recovery for all parts of the country.

“Because of the tough decisions we’ve taken on day-to-day spending, we’re able to invest in key infrastructure projects like the Northern Hub, which will create billions for the region.

“Each part of this project, like the first work at Manchester Airport station that I’ve kicked off today, will help us build the infrastructure we need to compete in the global race.

“This investment will ensure growth is not concentrated in any one place by keeping Britain connected and creating thousands of local jobs, delivering a brighter economic future for the whole country.”

Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail, said: “Providing a faster, more regular and reliable railway between key towns and cities in the north of England provides significant benefits to passengers and helps to boost the economy, making it quicker and easier to travel further for work or pleasure.”

Construction work at the airport will take place from March 14 to April 7 and will include two weekend closures on March 14-15 and April 5-6.

There will be replacement bus services for trains into the airport and all First TransPennine Express, Northern Rail and Arriva Train Wales services into and out of Manchester will be affected.

Passengers are warned to leave more time for their journeys. There will also be road disruptions – with clearly marked diversions in place.

Andrew Cowan, the airport’s chief operating officer, has heralded the scheme as key to boosting passenger numbers, luring businesses to its £800m Airport City scheme and even securing a direct route to China.

He said: “We welcome the fourth platform at the airport station. It will further open up the airport for our catchment area across northern England.

“Furthermore it will provide direct access for businesses and employees to our £800m Airport City development, which is transforming the area around the station into an international business hub.

“The fact the development can be completed ahead of schedule and alongside other construction works taking place will be advantageous to employees, the local community and of course our 20m plus airport passengers each year, many of which use the station, which operates 24 hours a day.

“The Northern Hub will benefit not only the airport but for the whole region.

“There is a huge amount of investment in this region – creating infrastructure for the future and jobs, it’s great for the local economy.”

Transport bosses say The overall Northern Hub will allow 700 extra trains to run every day by 2019, boosting yearly passenger capacity by 44m, bringing £4bn to the region’s economy, along with up to 30,000 jobs.

A major element of the Northern Hub is a new rail bridge to connect Victoria and Piccadilly.

Dubbed the Ordsall Chord – and subject to a public enquiry in April – it’s aimed at unblocking the congested city centre and giving direct access to the airport from Rochdale, Halifax and Bradford by December 2016.

Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester committee, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to work with our partners to deliver this crucial addition to the airport’s railway station 18 months ahead of schedule.

“That’s made possible by capitalising on the delivery of our new Metrolink line to Manchester Airport, funded entirely by the 10 Greater Manchester authorities, which will add yet further links to this key employment centre.

“The fourth platform will, of course, be the first of several significant improvements delivered by the vital Northern Hub programme that will transform our incredibly popular railways and provide the foundation for sustained economic growth across the region.”

Nick Donovan, FTPE managing director, said: “These works will further enhance the railway station and provide yet more service reliability and customer choice as part of the wider Northern Hub project whilst also offering customers from across the north of England greater connections from rail to air.

“I am delighted that we have been able to work closely with Network Rail and Manchester Airport to facilitate the early delivery of this investment in additional platform capacity.

“Currently an eighth of our business is initiated with journeys to and from Manchester Airport. From May this year we will be increasing the number of seats on our services from the airport by nearly 30%.”

Alex Hynes, managing director, Northern Rail said: “Millions of pounds worth of investment in rail in the north equals travel benefits to millions of passengers. The development at Manchester Airport will mean more reliable connections between rail and air, offering more opportunities to our customers to travel throughout Britain and beyond from the north of England.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/george-osborne-kicks-600m-northern-6680306

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Chinese construction company confirmed as part of Manchester Airport City development group

13 Oct 2013 (Manchester Evening News)

The Beijing Construction Engineering Group is involved in the joint-venture that will bring the Airport City scheme to reality over the next 12 years.

A Chinese construction company was today confirmed as part of the group that will develop an £800m business park next to Manchester Airport.

The Beijing Construction Engineering Group is involved in the joint-venture that will bring the Airport City scheme to reality over the next 12 years.

It is teaming-up with Manchester Airports Group, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and UK construction firm Carillion to invest in the project, which aims to create up to 16,000 jobs.

Over the coming years, they will build a series of office blocks, logistics hubs, hotels and warehouses that will be filled by global companies lured to the region.

Property develop Argent, which is behind the One St Peter’s Square scheme in Manchester city centre and led the revamp of London’s Kings Cross station, has been appointed development manager.

The deal was announced by chancellor George Osborne during a special visit to Beijing today.

It also marks the Far East launch of the Manchester-China Forum, which aims to boost trade links between the two locations.

And it is hoped securing Chinese investment into the region will go a long way towards encouraging airlines to launch a direct service between Manchester and the Far East.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, said: “We are delighted to confirm organisations of global standing as our joint venture partners.

“The inclusion of BCEG is significant because as a Group, we have been keen to forge greater links with the Far East and this gives us an opportunity to strengthen vital business links with China.

“With GMPF on board, Greater Manchester is investing in the future of the north west and Carillion bring sector-leading experience in project finance, delivery and sustainability, both in the UK and internationally.

“In Argent, we have the one of the most renowned developers in its field and by working together as a partnership, we are well positioned to deliver the UK’s first Airport City.”

The joint-venture sees MAG take a 50 per cent stake, BCEG a 20 per cent stake, Carillion a 20 per cent stake and the GMPF a 10 per cent stake.

MAG’s investment is in the form on the land on which the 5m sq ft of industrial and leisure space will be created.

The J-V partners will then look to build offices, warehouses, hotels and manufacturing plants for specific tenants and then sell those sites on for profit once they are up-and-running.

Airport City sits at the hear of Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone, which means companies choosing to locate there can benefit from business rate reductions and other perks.

Xing Yan, managing director of BCEG, said: “To be included in such an interesting and unique development is a real honour. To be part of a project of this size and scale, working alongside other such highly regarded organisations, will be an exciting, challenging and rewarding opportunity, which we look forward to beginning.

“We see our involvement in Airport City as an extension of the memorandum of understanding between China and the UK, where we have been looking to further explore joint infrastructure opportunities for some time.”

Richard Howson, chief executive of Carillion, said: ”We are delighted to be a member of the joint venture that’s been chosen to deliver this prestigious development, which reflects our reputation for quality and reliability and our success in building strong long-term relationships with our partners and customers.

“We look forward to working in partnership with MAG to deliver Airport City, which will further enhance Manchester’s position as one of the premier airports in the world.”

David Partridge, managing partner at Argent, said: “We are very enthusiastic about being a part of what is, without doubt, one of the most exciting development opportunities in the country.

“Airport City is an innovative and inspiring vision that is set to change the way business is done in the UK. Our aspiration as part of this international joint venture to create a world class business destination that will open up new connections on a global level.

“Argent’s involvement plays to our key place-making strengths, and underlines our continuing commitment to Manchester and the north west region.”

GMPF is the pension scheme for the 10 Greater Manchester councils and a host of other bodies, such as schools, colleges and charities. It is also part of the nationwide pension scheme for local authorities.

GMPF Chairman Coun Kieran Quinn said: “The Greater Manchester Pension Fund is delighted to be a partner in the Airport City project.

“This innovative development will attract international businesses to locate to the region and support economic growth in Manchester and the wider north west.”

Adam Jupp, MEN head of business, spoke to the MEN website about the deal and what it means for Manchester
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/chinese-construction-company-beijing-construction-6176750

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Manchester Airport City to boost its marketing efforts to attract global companies

Manchester airports “Airport City” says it will be a “£800 million landmark property development, creating a globally connected business destination” and a “vibrant economic hub with connectivity at its heart, the UK’s first Airport City will provide 5m sq ft of development, a mix of offices, hotels, advanced manufacturing, logistics and warehousing.  Airport City is expected to be one of the largest regeneration schemes in the UK since the 2012 Olympics redevelopment”.  It executives are now trying to create thousands of jobs by luring global firms to the area. They have now appointed two Manchester marketing agencies,Start JudgeGill and theEword to “focus on a strong and impactful international strategy to take Airport City to key territories” such as China and the Middle East. Airport City sits at the heart of Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone, which means companies relocating there can get tax breaks and other incentives. Last year, a deal was done to secure investment in the scheme from the Beijing Construction and Engineering Group. Meanwhile work is starting on  a 4th platform at the airport’s rail station, which the airport say is key to boosting passenger numbers, and luring businesses to its Airport City scheme.

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The Manchester Airport City website says of itself:

Airport City is a £800m landmark property development, creating a globally connected business destination located at Manchester Airport.  A vibrant economic hub with connectivity at its heart, the UK’s first Airport City will provide 5m sq ft of development, a mix of offices, hotels, advanced manufacturing, logistics and warehousing.  Airport City is expected to be one of the largest regeneration schemes in the UK since the 2012 Olympics redevelopment in East London, developing one of the world’s most accessible and engaging commercial locations.  http://www.airportcity.co.uk/

 

Airport City scheme marketed

Bosses of the £800m Airport City scheme, which aims to create thousands of jobs by luring global firms to the area, have turned to the Manchester office of creative design agency Start JudgeGill and Trafford Park-based digital agency theEword.

Plans for the Manchester Airport City development

Two Greater Manchester marketing agencies have been appointed to support one of the region’s most significant projects.

Bosses of the £800m Airport City scheme, which aims to create thousands of jobs by luring global firms to the area, have turned to the Manchester office of creative design agency Start JudgeGill and Trafford Park-based digital agency theEword.

They have been appointed to work on the project by Argent, the scheme’s development manager.

Angela Fielding, project director at Argent, said: “As Airport City grows and develops we decided we needed to focus on a strong and impactful international strategy to take Airport City to key territories.

“The plan is to work with our selected agencies to develop the brand to ensure it echoes and rings true with key audiences from the likes of MIPIM,  [an international property event], , China, Middle East and beyond.”

John McHugh, marketing manager at Manchester Airports Group said: “We are really pleased to welcome two well respected agencies with a Manchester heritage.

“Both have a specific brief to bolster Airport City’s objectives and we have the utmost faith each will deliver.

“When selecting and shortlisting agencies through a competitive process, we were keen to stay within the region, to help support, grow and utilise local talent from within the region, which Manchester has in abundance.”

Airport City sits at the heart of Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone, which means companies relocating there can get tax breaks and other incentives.

Last year, a deal was done to secure investment in the scheme from the Beijing Construction and Engineering Group, which has formed a joint-venture with The Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund and Carillion.

Start JudgeGill has been commissioned to conceive and deliver a compelling international marketing proposition for the brand.

Work commenced last month and the finished campaign will be designed to appeal to a range of industries, and it will be unveiled when Airport City Manchester visits MIPIM, in March this year.

David Judge of StartJG said: “This is a big win for the agency in terms of its geography – it’s a global project with roots in Manchester.”

TheEword has been retained to boost Airport City Manchester’s online presence through a dedicated SEO and link-building campaign to raise it up through the Google rankings.

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, added: “We’re extremely honoured to be selected to work on a project of this scale.

“As a Manchester-born business, it’s very exciting to be working alongside an internationally-backed project which will continue to strengthen Manchester’s already fantastic reputation as a key international business destination.

“The appointment is a big vote of confidence for the agency and the team can’t wait to get started.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/media/airport-city-scheme-marketed-6676858

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George Osborne kicks off £600m Northern Hub investment at Manchester Airport

 

The chancellor marked the start of work to build a fourth platform at the airport’s rail station

George Osborne and the train to Manchester Airport

The biggest investment in Manchester’s railways since the Victorian era was today set to be launched by Chancellor George Osborne.

The £600n Northern Hub project was due to be kicked off with the announcement a fourth platform will be built at Manchester Airport train station.

And bosses say that project – costing £20m – will be delivered 18 months earlier than hoped, with works carried out in parallel to the expansion of Metrolink lines to the airport.

Completion of the platform, set to be by the end of 2015, will mark the first milestone for the wider Northern Hub, a scheme to lay new track to improve the region’s heavily-congested rail network.

It will run alongside the current £400m scheme to electrify the lines between Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Blackpool by 2016. Combined with the £44m Victoria Station facelift it takes total investment to more than £1bn.

The Tatton MP was set to say: “The government’s long term plan is about securing a recovery for all parts of the country.

“Because of the tough decisions we’ve taken on day-to-day spending, we’re able to invest in key infrastructure projects like the Northern Hub, which will create billions for the region.

“Each part of this project, like the first work at Manchester Airport station that I’ve kicked off today, will help us build the infrastructure we need to compete in the global race. [What race??]

“This investment will ensure growth is not concentrated in any one place by keeping Britain connected and creating thousands of local jobs, delivering a brighter economic future for the whole country.”

Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail, said: “Providing a faster, more regular and reliable railway between key towns and cities in the north of England provides significant benefits to passengers and helps to boost the economy, making it quicker and easier to travel further for work or pleasure.”

Construction work at the airport will take place from March 14 to April 7 and will include two weekend closures on March 14-15 and April 5-6.

There will be replacement bus services for trains into the airport and all First TransPennine Express, Northern Rail and Arriva Train Wales services into and out of Manchester will be affected.

Passengers are warned to leave more time for their journeys. There will also be road disruptions – with clearly marked diversions in place.

Andrew Cowan, the airport’s chief operating officer, has heralded the scheme as key to boosting passenger numbers, luring businesses to its £800m Airport City scheme and even securing a direct route to China.

He said: “We welcome the fourth platform at the airport station. It will further open up the airport for our catchment area across northern England.

“Furthermore it will provide direct access for businesses and employees to our £800m Airport City development, which is transforming the area around the station into an international business hub.

“The fact the development can be completed ahead of schedule and alongside other construction works taking place will be advantageous to employees, the local community and of course our 20m plus airport passengers each year, many of which use the station, which operates 24 hours a day.

“The Northern Hub will benefit not only the airport but for the whole region.

“There is a huge amount of investment in this region – creating infrastructure for the future and jobs, it’s great for the local economy.”

Transport bosses say The overall Northern Hub will allow 700 extra trains to run every day by 2019, boosting yearly passenger capacity by 44m, bringing £4bn to the region’s economy, along with up to 30,000 jobs.

A major element of the Northern Hub is a new rail bridge to connect Victoria and Piccadilly.

Dubbed the Ordsall Chord – and subject to a public enquiry in April – it’s aimed at unblocking the congested city centre and giving direct access to the airport from Rochdale, Halifax and Bradford by December 2016.

Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester committee, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to work with our partners to deliver this crucial addition to the airport’s railway station 18 months ahead of schedule.

“That’s made possible by capitalising on the delivery of our new Metrolink line to Manchester Airport, funded entirely by the 10 Greater Manchester authorities, which will add yet further links to this key employment centre.

“The fourth platform will, of course, be the first of several significant improvements delivered by the vital Northern Hub programme that will transform our incredibly popular railways and provide the foundation for sustained economic growth across the region.”

Nick Donovan, FTPE managing director, said: “These works will further enhance the railway station and provide yet more service reliability and customer choice as part of the wider Northern Hub project whilst also offering customers from across the north of England greater connections from rail to air.

“I am delighted that we have been able to work closely with Network Rail and Manchester Airport to facilitate the early delivery of this investment in additional platform capacity.

“Currently an eighth of our business is initiated with journeys to and from Manchester Airport. From May this year we will be increasing the number of seats on our services from the airport by nearly 30%.”

Alex Hynes, managing director, Northern Rail said: “Millions of pounds worth of investment in rail in the north equals travel benefits to millions of passengers. The development at Manchester Airport will mean more reliable connections between rail and air, offering more opportunities to our customers to travel throughout Britain and beyond from the north of England.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/george-osborne-kicks-600m-northern-6680306

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WWF’s “One in Five Challenge” members are NOT increasing their flying – they’ve cut it by 38% over 3 years

A highly misleading article appeared in the Times on 3 February 2014 suggesting that WWF’s “One in Five Challenge” members are increasing their flying and that they are leaving the Challenge because they need to fly more. The “1 in 5″ challenge is a scheme to encourage businesses to cut their business flying by 20% over 5 years. The Times journalist based his misleading conclusions on data cherry-picked from the 3rd Annual Report from the “One in Five Challenge”.  WWF has set out the actual facts to counter the Times’ errors. Flights have not increased during the Challenge; they have continued to decline. Over a three-year period, the number of flights taken by Challengers fell by 38%, far exceeding the target set by the Challenge.  Even between Years 3 and 4, when the journalist claims Challengers have flown more, they have actually flown less taking 2% fewer flights. Challengers are not leaving the Challenge to fly more as the article alleges. The reason it may appear companies have dropped out of the scheme is because there is more data from Years 1 & 2 than Years 3 & 4 is that several Challengers who have recently joined the programme have not submitted as many years of data as Challengers who joined when the programme was launched in 2009.
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Sorry, you’ve got it all wrong—One in Five Challenge members are not increasing their flying

6 February 2014 (WWF UK)
A highly misleading article appeared in the Times on 3 February 2014 suggesting that One in Five Challenge members are increasing their flying and that they are leaving the Challenge because they need to fly more.

The journalist based his misleading conclusions on data cherry-picked from the 3rd Annual Report from the One in Five Challenge (PDF)

But these are the facts to counter the article’s fiction:
Flights have not increased during the Challenge, they have continued to decline. Over a three-year period, the number of flights taken by Challengers has fallen by 38%, far exceeding the target set by the Challenge (a 20% cut within 5 years). Even between Years 3 and 4, when the journalist claims Challengers have flown more, they have actually flown less taking 2% fewer flights.

Challengers are not leaving the Challenge to fly more as the article alleges. The journalist has assumed that, because there are more companies reporting data in Years 1 and 2 than in Years 3 and 4, that must mean companies have dropped out. In fact, the reason that there are fewer companies reporting in Years 3 and 4 is because there are several Challengers who have recently joined the programme and haven’t submitted as many years of data as Challengers who joined when the programme was launched in 2009.

Those few Challengers who have left the programme have done so because they have already achieved the award, not because they intend to fly more. The article provides no evidence or quotes from bosses (as the title suggests) that their companies are leaving the Challenge to fly more.

Although flight emissions and distances have grown slightly (4% and 5% respectively) between Years 3 and 4, Year 4 emissions remain 34% lower than they were at the start of the Challenge and kilometres distance is 33% lower.

In summary, WWF is very disappointed that the article completely overlooks the significant achievements of Challengers, which should be celebrated, and, instead portrays a false impression of the Challenge and its members.

http://www.wwf.org.uk/news_feed.cfm?7006/


Below is the Times article that got some of its facts  wrong:

http://www.wwf.org.uk/news_feed.cfm?7006/

Sorry, must fly, say bosses pledged to cut air travel

“The total distance flown by employees fell from 191 million km in the first year to 123 million in the third. Yet in the fourth year it rose to 129 million”
Richard Pohle/Times Newspapers

By Ben Webster Environment Editor (Times)

February 1 2014

Companies in a green scheme to cut emissions from business flights have increased their air travel over a year after realising that virtual meetings can be a poor substitute for pressing the flesh.

The scheme was aimed at showing that Heathrow and other airports did not need new runways, but the results suggest that even green-minded companies often see no alternative to flying.

WWF, the environmental group running the scheme, admitted that video conferencing was unsuitable for building relationships with new clients. The distance travelled by air fell sharply for the first three years after companies, including Microsoft, BT, Marks & Spencer, Lloyds TSB and BSkyB, joined the “One in Five” scheme, which aims to help organisations cut a fifth of their flights in five years.

However, WWF’s report on the scheme’s fourth year shows an annual increase in both long-haul and short-haul flights.

The total distance flown by employees fell from 191 million km in the first year to 123 million in the third year. Yet in the fourth year it rose to 129 million. Overall emissions from the companies’ flights fell by 36 per cent in the first three years but rose by 4 per cent, or 1,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide, in the most recent year.

Jean Leston, WWF’s transport policy manager, said that video or audio conferencing could replace only about a third of business flights. “While new teams are forming and relationships are being built and there are new clients to be met, these are the kind of circumstances where even WWF admits you are going to have to have a certain number of face-to-face meetings involving flying.

“Where we say you can replace flying most easily is for internal meetings or for client meetings where relationships are already established.” She said that the recession had encouraged companies to find cheaper alternatives to flying staff to meetings and argued that this had resulted in a permanent change of behaviour. “There has been a cultural shift that the recession has accelerated.”

Ms Leston said that some companies had dropped out of the scheme but declined to say which ones, saying it was a condition of the scheme that it would not give out “specific details on which companies have done what”. She said that WWF, which opposes any new runways, did not know whether emissions from flights were rising or falling for the companies that had dropped out.

“When they drop out and they inform us they have achieved all they can through the challenge and gone beyond it in most cases, they have got the T-shirt, a company is not expected to submit any further data. It’s a hassle for them so why would they?

“They may still be continuing to cut their flying but I don’t know and I wouldn’t want to speculate.”

WWF said in a statement: “WWF believes that business will continue to fly less — not more — in future and that decisions on UK airport capacity need to reflect this fact. Companies profit by flying less.”

http://www.wwf.org.uk/news_feed.cfm?7006/


 

Earlier:

WWF’s “One in Five” challenge has cut corporate flights by their participating firms by 38% over 3 years

24.1.2014

New results from WWF’s “One in Five Challenge”, a programme to help organisations cut 20% of flights within 5 years in favour of lower-carbon ways of staying connected, show that some of the UK’s leading companies have cut flights by 38% and flight expenditure by 42% over a 3-year period, saving them over £2 million and over 3,000 tonnes of carbon. Organisations that have achieved the One in Five Challenge, include BskyB, BT, Capgemini, Lloyds TSB, Microsoft UK, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Vodafone. The Challenge has helped companies to make significant inroads into cutting their costs and carbon from business travel and to change their business travel behaviour in favour of alternatives such as rail and video-conferencing. These results, together with other WWF-UK analysis which shows a significant, long-term decline in business flying in the UK, point to a permanent change in meeting and travel practices, questioning the business case for UK airport expansion. Having developed the One in Five Challenge and run it successfully for over 4 years, WWF is handing “One in Five” to Global Action Plan (GAP), the UK’s leading environmental behaviour change charity helping business to reduce environmental impact.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=19545

Organisations that have achieved the One in Five Challenge, including BskyB, BT, Capgemini, Lloyds TSB, Microsoft UK, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Vodafone, have cut far more flights, more quickly than anticipated.

http://www.wwf.org.uk/how_you_can_help/get_your_business_involved/one_in_five_challenge/

WWF One in Five Challenge 3rd annual report: www.wwf.org.uk/oneinfivereport

WWF infographic on UK business travel trends http://www.wwf.org.uk/how_you_can_help/get_your_business_involved/one_in_five_challenge/no_business_case_for_airport

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Tourism board drive to lure visitors away from London – half never venture outside the capital

In summer 2013 the UK nation’s tourism authority, “Visit Britain” launched a drive to get more overseas visitors to visit the rest of the country. Research for Visit Britain showed that of the 31 million who visited the UK in 2012 – a record number – half went to London only, never venturing outside the M25. The rest of England welcomed 13 million tourists, Scotland 2.2 million and Wales 0.9 million.  The Visit Britain “GREAT Britain” initiative hoped to use the delights of country pubs, Stonehenge and cathedral cities such as Winchester and Lincoln promoted in campaigns abroad.  Also that Britain is a comparatively small country and relatively easy to get around – and that they should not worry about driving on the left side of the road. It seems that many potential visitors just don’t know what there is to see outside London, or how to get there. Visit Britain offices abroad are being given a “Beyond London” dossier of suggestions for destinations to promote. Visit Britain is to step up efforts to exploit opportunities presented by low-cost airlines which use regional airports for direct flights to Europe. Although most passengers are British tourists, the airports have already seen an increase in Europeans coming to UK destinations.  An international survey showed 75% believed the UK has plenty of interesting places to visit outside of London (22% strongly).
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Tourism board to launch drive to lure visitors away from London

From castles and cathedrals to country pubs and canals, there can be no doubting the charms of Britain beyond the borders of the capital. But it seems that too few foreigners are finding them.

Britain’s tourism board wants overseas visitors to consider other parts of the UK during their visit, such as: (from top left, clockwise) Glen Coe, Suffolk pubs, Lincoln Cathedral and Chester.  Photo: ALAMY

By , Consumer correspondent (Telegraph)

4 Aug 2013

The nation’s tourism authorities are to launch a drive to get more overseas visitors to visit the rest of the country, amid fears that the industry has become unbalanced in favour of London.

New research for Visit Britain has shown that of the 31 million who visited these shores last year – a record number – half went to the capital alone, never venturing outside the M25.

The rest of England welcomed 13 million tourists, Scotland 2.2 million and Wales 0.9 million, prompting the organisation to make attracting visitors beyond the capital’s draws of Buckingham Palace and the West End its new priority.

The initiative will see the delights of country pubs, Stonehenge and cathedral cities such as Winchester and Lincoln promoted in campaigns abroad.

It will also attempt to convey to potential visitors that Britain is a comparatively small country and relatively easy to get around – and that they should not worry about driving on the left hand side of the road.

Research conducted among holidaymakers from US, France, Norway and Germany found there was a “general lack of knowledge” about other destinations outside of London, confusion as to which nations made up the British Isles, and “nerves” about driving on Britain’s roads.

A quarter said it was “too expensive” to travel across Britain, but nearly 30 per cent said they simply did not what it was like elsewhere in the UK or what was on offer. One more traditional foreign view of Britain appears to have faded, however, as only one in ten said the food was “poor”.

Sandie Dawe, the chief executive of Visit Britain, said London’s place on the world stage had been a huge draw, but that the rest of the country had huge potential to benefit.

“London is so popular and so dominant that when people think about Britain it’s such a strong draw. It’s a huge benefit, but also a challenge.

“The Olympics increased the interest in Britain around the world. We just have to make sure that some of our other fantastic assets are not put into the shade by the brilliance of London’s light.”

She added: “We have got some fantastic heritage, history and culture outside of London. When tourists think about romance, luxury, relaxation, France and Italy will pop into their heads before they think about Britain. But we have got some beautiful cathedral towns, such as Winchester, Salisbury, York, Chester or Lincoln.”

Visit Britain offices abroad are to be given a “Beyond London” dossier of suggestions for destinations to promote. Among the “hidden gems” which will be highlighted are Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which was used as Hogwarts in parts of the Harry Potter series of films, the more than 2,000 miles of navigable canals and rivers, and the country pubs of Suffolk, which Visit Britain hopes will become a “foodie” destination.

The tourist authority is also likely to step up its work with the English Premier League. Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United’s Japanese footballer, has already extolled the virtues of Britain in a video for Visit Britain and the popularity of the league is already bringing in football fans from countries such as Norway and Belgium.

Visit Britain is also to step up efforts to exploit opportunities presented by low-cost airlines which use regional airports for direct flights to Europe. Although most passengers are British tourists, the airports have already seen an increase in Europeans coming to new destinations, with examples including Liverpool proving a hit for Spanish visitors.

Ms Dawe said far more could be achieved with the right strategy. “With places like Italy, people around the world would know Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Naples,” she said.

“But when it comes to Britain they may say Windsor or Bath but that would be it. If you look at places such as the north-east there are beautiful castles and coastal walks. Suffolk is absolutely beautiful – there are places like Lavenham and Long Melford – and there is great potential in East Anglia as tourists often tell us they are interested in country pubs, and the British way of life.”

She added: “A large part of it is simply educational. When I speak to people in Brazil, India or China, you are talking to people from huge countries who cannot quite gather how small our country is. I tell Brazilians you can fit most of Great Britain in between Rio and Sao Paulo, and that it would take the same time to get to Scotland and the Highlands as it would to fly between the two cities. They have no idea.”

Edinburgh is Britain’s most popular single destination outside London, with 1.3 million foreign visitors last year. Other leading destinations include Manchester, which had 932,000; Cambridge, 398,000; York, 199,000; and Windsor, which had 182,000.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/tourism/10220711/Tourism-board-to-launch-drive-to-lure-visitors-away-from-London.html

 Quiz: How well do you know Britain?

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63% of respondents now want to visit Britain with 75% looking beyond London

January 2013 ?    (Visit Britain website)

Great campaign

A new study commissioned by VisitBritain and its partners in the* suggests that global perceptions of ‘Welcome’, Britain’s ‘Overall Nation Brand’ and the UK’s sporting and cultural credentials have significantly improved thanks to the hosting of the London 2012 Games.

The Nations Brands Index (NBI) research** rates 50 of the world’s leading nations around six core categories. Research was carried out in July 2012 and then repeated post Games. The study sets out to reveal how the international image of a country can change before and after hosting a major sporting event.

According to the new research Britain’s ‘Welcome’ has seen the biggest jump by moving from twelfth place pre-Games to ninth – putting Britain in the top 10 for the very first time.

Britain’s ‘Overall Nation Brand’ and ‘Culture’ ranking moved up one place. ‘Tourism’ held its position in fourth place, with ‘People’ remaining fifth overall. Fourteen of the total 15 panel countries rank the UK within the top 10 on the overall NBI. Nine of the 15 panel countries – including key source markets USA, China, Japan, Russia and India – put the UK in the top three post Games, a marked improvement on previous years.
More key findings include:

• 63 per cent said the Olympics had increased their interest of visiting for a holiday
• 75 per cent of those who saw coverage agreed they wanted to see more than London
• 73 per cent agreed that Britain offered outstanding venues for watching live sport
• 70 per cent said Britain has lovely countryside
• 58 per cent agreed that Britain has a wide variety of world cuisines on offer

Perceptions of British sport see it move two places into the top five in the overall rankings (5th). The UK will continue to host major sporting events in the coming years with a Champions league Final, Tour de France, Rugby Union and Rugby League World Cups, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014, followed by the World Athletics Championships to be held in London in 2017.

Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain said: “London’s hosting of the Games, the amazing opening and closing ceremonies and the warmth of welcome shown to our international visitors have combined to boost our global image.

“With our partners we have taken every opportunity to promote Britain to overseas audiences through our GREAT marketing campaign, our digital activity on Facebook and Twitter and by inviting foreign travel journalists to write about Britain. This work is now paying off with post Games visitor figures significantly up on last year, and prospects for 2013 looking strong.

“Britain is already an established visitor destination and our tourism ranking is high. The goal this year was to maintain rankings in culture and heritage where we are strong, and improve in areas such as the warmth of our welcome where we had room for improvement. We intend to build on these encouraging results to ensure we turn that increased goodwill into visitors and deliver a growth in tourism that will deliver jobs across the country.”

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: “The summer of 2012 put the UK firmly in the global spotlight, allowing us to shape international perceptions and show the best of Britain. These results are very encouraging, and show that the UK’s sporting and cultural credentials have significantly improved thanks to London 2012.  We are determined to deliver a lasting economic legacy for the whole country, boosting tourism and growth.”

To maximise the promotion of Britain overseas before, during and after the Games, VisitBritain together with UKTI, British Council and FCO mounted a major marketing campaign under the banner GREAT Britain. The campaign showcases the very best of Britain in a highly impactful campaign promoting culture, heritage, countryside and sport, and also education and business.

Notes to editors

* GREAT Partners include: VisitBritain; Cabinet Office, UKTI; FCO and British Council

** NBI research conducted by Anholt-GfK Roper. The post-Games NBI wave was undertaken in 15 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, UAE and USA. Respondents rated 50 nations on questions in six categories: Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment.

Read the full analysis of the study here.  January 2013

 

http://www.visitbritain.org/mediaroom/pressreleases/postgamesnbi.aspx

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The GREAT Britain campaign:

http://www.visitbritain.org/marketing/marketingprogramme.aspx

The GREAT campaign logo

Spice girls flash mob in Canada

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‘Yes, London is GREAT, now explore the rest of the country’, declares Visit Britain

By SARAH GORDON

5 August 2013 (Daily Mail)

Of the 31 million people who visited Britain last year, half spent at least one night in London, while of the 12 million holidaymakers who came to these shores, two-thirds based themselves in the capital for at least a night.

Now Visit Britain is looking at how it can shift holidaymakers’ focus and encourage them to explore the UK’s other delights, with new tourism campaigns and extra information supplied to its tourist offices abroad.

Visit Britain offices around the world are going to be given special packs to help them better ‘sell’ the delights of Britain, from Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which appeared in the Harry Potter films, to Stonehenge and experiences like our country pubs and canal network.

Great campaign

These will tie in with an extension of Visit Britain’s hugely successful ‘GREAT’ campaign, which has targeted key cities in key markets with films and image-led print adverts showcasing what makes Britain great.

Two problems the tourist board faces are convincing the rest of the world how small and easy-to-navigate the UK is and how driving on the left is not as daunting as it seems.
While Edinburgh remains the second most popular tourist destination after London, many tourists miss cathedral cities such as Lincoln, York, Winchester and Salisbury. However, Bath and Windsor often feature on itineraries for their heritage and royal links.

And while regional airports have encouraged visitors to other cities such as Liverpool, few explore rural spots, despite the abundance of picturesque villages, traditional pubs and verdant landscapes.

Visit Britain is keen to highlight that it is not trying to encourage visitors to avoid London, but that it has spotted an opportunity for ‘London Plus’ tourism, with visitors combining the capital with other experiences.

Heritage: Tourists could be encouraged to visit Cathedral cities like Lincoln
The latest research by Visit Britain found that London remains the key draw for visitors, but the majority of those questioned would like to combine it with trips to destinations up to two or three hours away.

However, knowledge about what else to see in Britain can be scant in some markets, with holidaymakers concentrating more on ticking off the top sights in the capital.

On a more positive note, the reasons cited for wanting to travel beyond London include wanting to explore more heritage sites, to add variety to their itineraries, to find unique places to stay and see the countryside and to see how British people live.

Visit Britain’s aim is to approach tourism to the UK much as they do in countries like Italy, where visitors are keen to explore cities like Venice and Florence as much as Rome.

In Italy, visitors spent just 13 per cent of their stay in Rome, while in France, tourists spent just 26 per cent of overnight stays in Paris. However, in the UK, 41 per cent of overnight stays are spent in London.

A spokesperson for Visit Britain confirmed: “We compete against a number of other destinations where overseas visitors tend to visit a wider range of locations. We want visitors to enjoy brilliant London but then extend their stay by visiting other parts of Britain, something our research proves they are keen to do.”

But tourism figures for the UK so far this year are positive, showing a 2 per cent rise in visitors during the first five months of the year and a a 10 per cent spike in cash generated.
The £25 million ‘GREAT’ image tourism campaign – which has targeted 14 major cities in nine countries – is also performing well on the international stage, especially when compared to competitor tourist boards with substantially larger budgets.

Nearly three-quarters of the audience in target cities recall seeing the ‘GREAT’ campaign and 23 per cent of those who recall the campaign plan to visit in the next year.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain said: “In 2012 Britain became the first Olympic host since Sydney to see an increase in inbound tourism in the year of the Games.

“The GREAT campaign is playing a major role in our efforts to attract a greater number of overseas visitors, with those seeing our images increasingly likely to visit the UK in the next few years. It is essential that we continue to deliver this campaign in our high value tourism markets and the growth markets of the future if we are to enhance overseas perceptions of Britain as a must see destination.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2384808/Best-British-tourism-Visit-Britain-tempts-visitors-London-new-tourism-campaign.html

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Defra publishes its noise action plan for agglomerations (section on aircraft), roads and railways

Defra has updated its Noise Action Plans for large urban areas, roads and railways following a consultation that closed in October 2013. There has been no update to the guidance for Airport Operators since July 2013 but the Noise Action Plan for agglomerations has some information about aviation noise.  The Government‟s policy on noise is set out in the Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE). Its vision is to: “Promote good health and a good quality of life through the effective management of noise within the context of Government policy on sustainable development.” It aims to avoid, mitigate and minimise significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life. Earlier Defra prepared guidance for airport operators on how to prepare their Noise Action Plans, including the management of aircraft noise affecting noise sensitive buildings, such as schools and hospitals. Unfortunately responsibility for preparing airport Action Plans rests with the relevant airport operators, which is akin to having the fox in control of the hen-house. Those troubled by aircraft noise have found airport Noise Action Plans to be high on words, and worthy statements of good intent, but low on any real actions or targets to genuinely reduce aircraft noise – with rising numbers of air transport movements.
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Defra has updated its Noise Action Plans for large urban areas, roads and railways following a consultation that closed in October 2013. There has been no update to the guidance for Airport Operators since July 2013 but the Noise Action Plan for agglomerations has some information about aviation noise.

 

Noise Action Plan: Agglomerations
Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006, as amended - January 2014

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/noise-action-plans-large-urban-areas-roads-and-railways

Below are some extracts, relating to airports, from the document.

Executive summary

This Action Plan has been developed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as the Competent Authority for preparing and adopting this Action Plan under the terms of the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006, as amended („the Regulations‟). The Regulations implement the Environmental Noise Directive (END) in England. The END requires, on a five year cycle:

 The determination, through noise mapping, of exposure to environmental
noise from major sources of road, rail and aircraft noise and in urban areas
(known as agglomerations)

 Provision of information to the public on environmental noise and its effects.

 Adoption of Action Plans, based upon the noise mapping results, which are
designed to manage environmental noise and its effects, including noise
reduction if necessary.

 Preservation of environmental noise quality where it is good, particularly in
urban areas

This Action Plan applies to relevant authorities within the 65 END agglomerations [An agglomeration is an urban area with a population in excess of 100,000 persons and a
population density equal to or greater than 500 people per km2] that were covered by the second round of strategic noise mapping, undertaken during 2012.

It accompanies two additional Action Plans, which are being published at the same time, covering the management of noise from road and railway sources. Responsibility for preparing airport Action Plans rests with the relevant airport operators.

In line with the Government‟s policy on noise, this Action Plan aims to promote
good health and good quality of life (wellbeing) through the effective management
of noise. It is intended that this Action Plan will assist the management of environmental noise in the context of Government policy on sustainable development.

This means that those authorities responsible for implementing this Action Plan will need to balance any potential action to manage noise with wider environmental, social and economic considerations, including cost effectiveness.

This Action Plan will be relevant to the various highway and rail authorities responsible for transport in the agglomerations, local authorities in agglomerations, including those with environmental, transport and planning responsibilities, and interested members of the public.

It has been estimated that the approximate number of people associated with the Important Areas identified through the process described in this Action Plan for the 65 agglomerations, with respect to road and rail noise, is just over 130,000. This is expected to correspond to just over 3,300 Important Areas.

The equivalent figures covering Important Areas for major roads and major railways outside agglomerations can be found in the roads and railways Action Plans, which also describe the process used to identify them.

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It states:

1.2

Noise is a natural consequence of a mature and vibrant society. Noise, however, can have major implications for quality of life (wellbeing), human health, economic prosperity and the natural environment.

1.3

The Government‟s policy on noise is set out in the Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE). The NPSE‟s vision is to:

“Promote good health and a good quality of life through the effective management of noise within the context of Government policy on sustainable development.”

Its aims are to:

 avoid significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life;
 mitigate and minimise adverse impacts on health and quality of life; and
 where possible, contribute to the improvement of health and quality of life.

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Of the 65 agglomeration areas it includes, the table on page 31 shows which are affected by which airport. Those relevant to Gatwick and Heathrow are Crawley Urban Area; the Greater London Urban Area and Slough Urban Area respectively

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3. Implementing this Action Plan
3.1 The responsibility for the management of noise from road and railway sources lies with various authorities including the Department for Transport and the relevant transport authorities. The implementation of this Action Plan forms part of their existing responsibilities in this area.

4. Monitoring and review
4.1 Defra will monitor the progress of this Action Plan through liaison with the
relevant authorities and will provide periodic updates on progress. As required by the Regulations, this Action Plan will be reviewed at least once every five years.

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The Action Plans cover:

Part B: Noise from road traffic …………………….. 13
Part C: Noise from railways ………………………… 16
Part D: Noise from industry …………………………. 19
Part E: Noise from aircraft ……………………………. 21
Part F: Quiet areas ……………………………………….. 24

 

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The section on Noise from Aircraft states:

Part E: Noise from aircraft
15.

The management of the impact of aircraft noise in agglomerations

15.1

This section applies to agglomerations affected by noise from the operations
at airports covered by the Regulations.

15.2

As outlined in the regulations, the relevant Airport Operators are the Competent Authorities for development of the Action Plan for their airport.

15.3

The Regulations required that noise level information from aircraft (air noise) [Footnote: The Regulations require that only air noise be mapped; that is the noise from the moment that the aircraft is about to move down the runway at take-off (known as start of roll) to the moment after landing and just before it turns off the runway to taxi to the stand.] be determined in terms of several noise indicators. These include:

 Lden
 Lnight

15.4 The estimated total number of people and dwellings exposed above various
noise levels from the strategic mapping of noise from aircraft using these
airports will be available on the Defra website.

15.5

The relevant airports are either revising their existing Noise Action Plans or preparing an Action Plan if none already exists. The Airport Action Plans will be published on the websites of the relevant Airports.

15.6

For the purposes of this Noise Action Plan, only the noise impact from those airports for which noise mapping was required to be carried out according to the Regulations has been considered. Some agglomerations are not affected by noise from any of those airports. A list of agglomerations affected by aircraft noise covered by the Regulations is shown in Appendix C, along with links to the relevant airport Action Plans.

16. Noise from aircraft in agglomerations: identification of problems and situations that need to be investigated 

16.1

Defra prepared guidance for airport operators regarding the preparation of their Action Plans. It included the following:

 As a first priority, consider what further measures should be taken in areas shown by the noise maps to have residential premises exposed to more than 69 dB LAeq,16h according to the results of the strategic noise mapping;

 Consider what further measures should be taken to assist the management of aircraft noise affecting noise sensitive buildings, such as schools and hospitals, in the light of the policy in the Aviation Policy Framework; and

 More generally, examine the day, evening and night results produced from the noise mapping and consider whether there are any features of the noise impact from departing or arriving aircraft that might be managed further.

17.

Noise from aircraft in agglomerations: actions that Defra intends to take

17.1

Defra will review the draft Noise Action Plans prepared or revised by the various airport operators to be satisfied that the requirements of the regulations have been met and the action planning guidance followed. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is responsible for formally adopting the airport Noise Action Plans.

17.2

An airport operator will need to consider whether any element of their proposed airport Action Plan might conflict with any formally identified quiet areas. In order to avoid any such conflict arising, Defra will liaise with airport operators whose operations affect an agglomeration and inform them of any quiet areas.

18.

Noise from aircraft in agglomerations: long term strategy

18.1

Defra will continue to encourage any development of future policy on aviation and sustainable transport to reflect any emerging scientific knowledge or trends in community response to noise from aircraft.

18.2

Defra will continue to liaise with the Department for Transport regarding the establishment of reliable data on the community response to noise from aircraft.

18.3

Defra will continue to develop, agree and disseminate good practice approaches and methodologies through the Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits noise subject group (IGCB(N)) to support the policy appraisal of noise. Further information is available from www.defra.gov.uk/evidence/economics/igcb.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/276228/noise-action-plan-agglomerations-201401.pdf

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Earlier:

 

DEFRA: No plans for stakeholder events on Airport Noise Action Plans

4.8.2010
DEFRA has confirmed, in a response to a letter from an AirportWatch member, that
there are no current plans to hold a stakeholder event to consider airport NAPs. The letter, from the Environmental Noise Policy Team states:“Major airports i.e. those with 50,000 annual movements and above have been required under the EU Environmental Noise Directive to map the noise impact of their airport and produce strategic action plans. These plans – which have to be produced in consultation with the local community – are required to set out proposed action by airports to mitigate aircraft noise.17 airports in England have been required to submit draft plans to Government for consideration for formal adoption.   The majority of the airports have now submitted plans which are being subjected to a rigorous scrutiny process.Once formally adopted by Government, airports are then required to publish the final plans on their website. There are no current plans to hold a stakeholder event to consider airport NAPs.   However the Department for Transport proposes to publish a summary of emerging trends and issues arising from the plans later this year.”http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=4269 

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Gatwick Campaigners slam airport’s revised noise action plan

Date Added: 24th May 2010

Campaigners from GACC have attacked the revised Gatwick Airport Noise Action Plan as “flawed” and the result of a consultation which was “largely a sham.”  GACC says the current situation on the draft NAP is “extremely unsatisfactory.”  From a FoI request they have discovered that the revised draft after consultation only included a few changes even though the public – and GACC – had submitted many comments and constructive proposals.  Click here to view full story…

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Noise Action Plans and Noise Policy Statement for England

Date Added: 16th March 2010

The Noise Action Plans published today are for road and rail, not for airports
which were done during 2009. Also published today is the Noise Policy Statement
for England (NPSE) which sets out noise management policy for the first time in
the form of the Government’s long term vision to manage noise and improve health
and quality of life through the management of noise within the context of Government
policy on sustainable development. (Defra)
Click here to view full story…

 

Plans to tackle airport noise a sham, say campaigners

Date Added: 11th February 2010

Research by AEF for AirportWatch has found that airport ‘noise action plans’

will fail to tackle impacts on local communities. European laws now require airports
to draw up action plans to tackle their noise pollution. But these plans are written
by the airports themselves, and just re-state what they already have to do to
comply with, local planning requirements. Not one plan meets all the requirements
of the EC law, and airports have failed even to comply with the weak demands of
the EU’s legislation.
Click here to view full story

 

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Airport Noise Action Plans Not Fit For Purpose

Date Added: 6th October 2009

Environmental Protection UK has considerd a number of the airport draft noise

action plants, and feels overall that they are not fit for purpose. They are in
essence a summary of what the airports are already required to do and, with airport
operators as the competent authority, the plans contain very little in terms of
additional controls that would avoid, prevent and reduce environmental noise from
these airports. Click here to view full story…

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Government plans to increase UK road traffic by 40% by 2040 could hit climate targets

As with anticipated growth in numbers of air passengers, the government also tries to predict future numbers of cars. As with air passengers, forecasts of road vehicle numbers made 10 – 15 years ago have proved to be wildly too high, with much less growth than had been expected.  The government is now predicting that road traffic will grow by 40% by 2040 as the UK’s population and economy expand over the next few decades.  It is banning planners from taking climate change into account when deciding whether new roads should be built. The stance has been criticised by the Campaign for Better Transport.  The government argues the traffic increase won’t affect plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the sector, but it hasn’t justified how.  In June 2013 the government announced the “biggest-ever upgrade of our existing roads, worth up to £50 billion over the next generation.”  Road and rail travel currently account for about 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions. Government advisor the CCC suggests CO2 emissions from cars, vans and trains need to reduce by 40% between 2010 and 2030, if the government is going to hit its targets under the Climate Change Act. Meanwhile aviation has – at best – a vague target to return its emissions to their 2005 level by 2050. 
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Government plans to increase road traffic by 40% could hit climate targets

  • 5th  Feb 2014, (The Carbon Brief)
  • by Robin Webster

The government predicts road traffic will increase by two fifths by 2040 – and it’s banning planners from taking climate change into account when deciding whether new roads should be built. The government argues this won’t affect plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the sector, but it hasn’t justified its position.

Last June, chancellor George Osborne announced the “ largest programme of investment in our roads for half a century”. The government is going to plough £50 billion into the country’s roads, remedying decades of underinvestment, it says.

The government wants to increase road capacity as the UK’s population and economy expands over the next few decades. Campaign group, the Campaign for Better Transport, disagrees. It says the government is “ outrageously” ignoring its climate commitments, in order to press ahead with road expansion.

The government’s plans for road expansion 

The following graph, taken from a government document, illustrates planned traffic growth over the next few decades. The coloured lines illustrate differing levels of growth, dependent on what happens to the country’s economy and population:

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 At 16.58.28

Source: Road transport forecasts 2013. Department for transport. In its central case (the red line), traffic increases by 42 per cent between 2010 and 2040.  

There’s an obvious tension here between the government’s commitment to increasing road travel, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Road and rail travel currently account for about a fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions. Government advisor the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) suggests surface transport emissions – emissions from cars, vans and trains – need to reduce by 40 per cent between 2010 and 2030, if the government is going to hit its targets under the climate change act.

The government predicts transport emissions will fall until 2030, and then rise again as demand increases. The committee tells us its modeling only goes up to 2030, so it can’t say whether a 40 per cent increase in traffic by 2040 is compatible with the government’s climate targets, or not.

The government also says road developments will have a “ very small” impact on the country’s emissions. But it doesn’t explain how it works this out.

Achieving emissions cuts 

Local planners could take the emissions-impacts of new roads into account when making decisions as to whether individual roads should go ahead or not. The CCC appears tosupport this approach. It says:

“it is important that transport emissions are factored into planning decisions alongside other costs and benefits.”

In its draft plans, the Department for Transport (DfT) explicitly forbids this approach, however. It says “while individual [road] schemes may result in an increase in carbon emissions”, planners should not take climate emissions into account when making decisions.

The DfT takes this position because it believes its carbon plan will ensure emissions go down. In other words, it argues its policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions elsewhere will offset the increase in carbon from new roads.

Saved by efficient cars? 

The transport section of the carbon plan explains how the government intends to cut emissions from the transport sector. Over the next decade, it says it will focus on the “easy wins” in surface transport – incentivising more efficient car engines and the use of sustainable biofuels as fuel.

In the 2020s, the document says “we will move towards the mass market roll-out of ULEVs [ultra low emission vehicles]” – vehicles powered by batteries, hydrogen fuel cells or sustainable biofuels.

There aren’t any numbers in the document showing how a 40 per cent increase in traffic will be squared with emissions reductions, but the government appears to be arguing ULEVs will play a major part in fixing the problem. According to this argument, it can dramatically increase the number of vehicles on the road without increasing carbon emissions.

This creates two possible problems, however.

First, takeup of ULEVs [ultra low emission vehicles] may not proceed as rapidly as the government claims. Professor Jillian Anable, an expert on transport and climate change from the university of Aberdeen, tells Carbon Brief the government’s predictions for the rate at which ULEVs will expand is “really quite optimistic”.  Decarbonisation of the car fleet by the middle of the century is “far, far from certain”, she adds.

Second, the government may need to tackle transport demand in addition to encouraging takeup of fuel-efficient cars, if it’s going to hit its climate change targets. The carbon plan mentions a few projects intended to encourage people to travel less by car, but clearly doesn’t see this as a priority.

The CCC, which uses government modelling as the basis for its calculations, agrees car travel will go up by 2030, by about a fifth.  But it also says voluntary reductions in car use – achieved through fewer trips, more travel by public transport, and more walking and cycling – could reduce car and van travel by 5% by 2030, relative to what it would have been.

Locked into a car-dependent future 

The government seems quite focused on expanding the country’s road network, however. In the DfT paper ‘ Action for Roads‘, it argues the road network is “vital to our nation” and must be made “fit for the future”.

It says the government’s carbon plan will explain how the government can both dramatically increase the amount of traffic on the road and reduce emissions. It mainly appears to be relying on fuel efficient cars to achieve this.

But experts have doubts about whether this technological fix is the right approach. Professor Anable tells us:

“History tells us that road expansion generates more traffic, and more road use. If we build roads, but don’t manage to decarbonise car use, we could be in a worse place than before.”

Professor Anable argues that the government has a choice. It’s choosing to create a future in which we’re more and more dependent on cars. But the longer that goes on, the harder it is to reverse – and the more difficult, and expensive, it is to reduce transport emissions.

 

Update 5th February: A separate point has been made by some twitter correspondents, who argue the Department for Transport has a history of over-projecting future growth in traffic. 

In its draft planning document, the DfT says its modelling has “performed well in the past at forecasting traffic levels”. But according to a recent article in ENDS magazine, previous government projections of “massive growth” in traffic failed to materialise. 

This argument is illustrated in the following graph, created by the Campaign for Better Transport. The coloured lines show the government’s predictions for how much car traffic was going to increase – and when those predictions were made. The black line shows what actually happened:

Df T_forecasts _traffic _growth

 

http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/02/government-plans-to-increase-road-traffic-by-40-per-cent-could-hit-climate-targets/

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By contrast with air passenger forecasts:

 

New Air traffic forecasts: Government expects growth in air travel to slow down considerably

30.1.2013The Department for Transport expects the rate of growth in air travel to slow down considerably over the coming decades.  Their passenger forecasts published late yesterday expect demand for air travel to increase by just 1%-3% a year up to 2050 compared to historical growth rates of 5% a year over the last 40 years.  The DfT lists 4 reasons for the slow down in growth for air travel: – higher oil prices; – an end to the decline in average fares seen in the last two decades; – the maturity of the air travel market to and from the UK; – and the availability of alternative modes of travel. The Department estimates that the major South East airports will be full by 2030 but recognizes there is some uncertainty about this: “ there is a range around this projection and they could be full as soon as 2025 or as late as 2040”. The central forecast, taking into account the impact of capacity constraints, is for passenger numbers at UK airports to increase from 219 million passengers in 2011 to 315 million in 2030 and 445 million by 2050. Compared to the DfT forecasts in August 2011, these forecasts are 6% lower for 2030 and 5% lower for 2050. Any proposals for airport expansion must be seen in this light. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=648The Department for Transport expects the rate of growth in air travel to slow down considerably over the coming decades. 

Their passenger forecasts published late yesterday expect demand for air travel to increase by just 1%-3% a year up to 2050 compared to historical growth rates of 5% a year over the last 40 years.

The Department gives four reasons for the slow down:

- higher oil prices;

- an end to the decline in average fares seen in the last two decades;

- the maturity of the air travel market to and from the UK;

- and the availability of alternative modes of travel.

The Department estimates that the major South East airports will be full by 2030 but recognizes there is some uncertainty about this: “ there is a range around this projection and they could be full as soon as 2025 or as late as 2040”.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said, “The exact figures about future demand may be uncertain but the trend is unmistakable:  the growth in air travel in the developed world is slowing down.  Any proposals for airport expansion must be seen in this light.”

Link to the full consultation, including the Executive Summary  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69925/uk-aviation-forecasts.pdf

Graph below of UK air passengers (millions) from AEF:

government forecasts between 2000 and 2013

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Full document at   https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69925/uk-aviation-forecasts.pdf

by contrast, the forecasts from August 2011 are at  http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/uk-aviation-forecasts-2011/uk-aviation-forecasts.pdf

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