LETTER: A high price we can ill afford

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Last week, the airports commission started sifting the views of businesses and the public. As it does so, one message must be loud and clear.

A new runway at Gatwick would be gambling our future on a scheme with no benefit, no backing, no infrastructure, no money and no momentum.

It will cost Britain up to £100bn in lost economic growth.

A high price we can ill afford as Gatwick brings the least into the UK economy being a major exporter of travellers, taking money out of the UK.It is not an easy or supported option. Six local MPs have declared it a “catastrophe”. Local councils have voted against it.

Even easyJet, Gatwick’s biggest airline, has backed Heathrow as the best choice for passengers.In fact, Gatwick discounted 6,300 consultation responses that it didn’t like. A crime against democracy that mustn’t be ignored.

Gatwick doesn’t have the infrastructure needed to meet a massive increase in demand. Nor are there any plans or money in its proposals to fix the problem.

It has a single rail and road connection, which is already being pushed beyond its limits. It is surrounded by greenbelt, with no room to build the homes, schools and hospitals needed for 60,000 more low skilled jobs.

It will devastate our countryside, and the demolition of local listed buildings will be the biggest destruction of our heritage since the Blitz. Before a spade is in the ground, the costs have jumped by a quarter.

And that’s accepting Gatwick’s premise that no new infrastructure will be needed, at significant additional cost, which defies all logic.

If easyJet, Gatwick’s main airline isn’t prepared to foot the bill, how will the airport persuade its investors to pay up or local authorities?

Gatwick has invested millions in painting a picture of support, but the truth is there is ‘nomentum’ behind Gatwick!

Sally Pavey, CAGNE

www.cagne.org