Keith Taylor, the Green Party MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, said:
“The political opposition to airport expansion in South East England is sadly melting away.
There’s no doubt that the Government and will be pleased with this report. It gives them the cover they need to go on avoiding answering difficult questions on airport expansion and to prepare themselves for a colossal u-turn on Heathrow expansion.
This report will be of great concern to my constituents near Gatwick and Heathrow. We know that any new runways at either airport will increase air pollution, destroy homes and countryside and mean more people’s lives are blighted by flight noise.
With the exception of a handful of local MPs it looks likes the residents near Gatwick and Heathrow will be utterly abandoned by the Westminster parties.
The good news for my constituents is that the ‘BorisIsland’ airport looks to be dead in the water.
This report also clears a path for one of the fastest growing sources of climate changing carbon emissions. If we are serious about tacking climate change we need to radically re-think the way we travel, not just tarmac over our countryside and knock down homes in pursuit of evermore business as usual.
The recommendations have nothing to do with a capacity shortage – a robust case has already been made detailing how existing facilities could be used. The damaging environmental impacts in terms of CO2 emission, and air and noise pollution have been glossed over in preference to claims from the business lobby that UK plc will suffer.
If politicians in Westminster continue to plough ahead with airport expansion in the South East then they should expect widespread peaceful direct action against their plans. People simply won’t lie down and accept their homes being knocked down and their countryside being paved over.”
Mr Taylor also commented on a proposal to increase the number of flights early in the morning at Heathrow:
“In the detail of the report we can also see a proposal for more early morning flights at Heathrow between 5am and 6am. This desire to increase capacity, seemingly at any cost, will be deeply worrying for residents already blighted by airport noise throughout the day.”