Election result bad news for Gatwick expansion say campaigners

Anti-airport expansion campaign groups from Gatwick and Heathrow areas join forces at the Climate Change  in London event - picture submitted by the Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE) campaign group
Anti-airport expansion campaign groups from Gatwick and Heathrow areas join forces at the Climate Change in London event - picture submitted by the Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE) campaign group

Residents against a second runway at Gatwick Airport are celebrating the result of the General Election - because they believe it could mean the plans are dropped.

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) has highlighted the fact that all the MPs elected in areas around the airport had pledged to support them in the anti-expansion fight.

GACC chairman Brendon Sewill said: “All 11 Conservative candidates have got re-elected and all are opposed to the runway.

“It provides a very solid base in Parliament for those oppose the scheme.

“It’s not easy for the Government to put through a second runway with these MPs here opposed to it.”

Campaigners were also celebrating after the body which will make recommendations to the Government on where a new runway should be built, said more consultation was needed on air quality.

The Airports Commission announced yesterday (Friday May 8) it would be asking the public what they thought about how the three shortlisted options could affect pollution.

Sally Pavey from CAGNE added: “This is a show-stopper. This has always been about the lack of infrastructure.

“You cannot get away from the fact (existing) public transport cannot take the passengers and the workers and that means they will end up on the roads.

“Congested roads means pollution. We have already got high levels in West Sussex on bottlenecks on roads.”

The Commission has shortlisted three options for expansion in the South East: A second runway at Gatwick, a third runway at Heathrow and an extension of one of Heathrow’s existing runways.

Once it receives the Commission’s recommendation, MPs will decide whether to act on the commission’s findings. A decision is expected later in the summer.

On the other side of the debate, Gatwick Airport Ltd chief executive Stewart Wingate was positive about the new consultation.