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Stop Expansion at Gatwick & Heathrow




West Sussex residents say “no!” to airport expansion. Photo via GACC.


The next step in airport expansion has arrived with the Tories’ draft National Policy Statement (NPS) being put out for public consultation.  As the next step in the expansion of Heathrow Airport., the consultation asks people whether they would prefer another runway at Heathrow or Gatwick.  Despite the Government’s decision to favour Heathrow, this question had to be included or the Government risked being forced to re-issue the consultation by the courts with Gatwick included – as happened in 2003.

The LRC opposes airport expansion at both Heathrow and Gatwick.  Day in, day out, the majority of people urgently require a cheap, efficient, accessible, fully integrated public transport system.  That is the LRC’s transport priority, not airport expansion which primarily serves only the needs of the wealthy and business, while providing no answers to questions of air quality, noise pollution and climate change. 



Photo via Plane Stupid


The draft NPS recognises that the worse environmental impact of expanding Heathrow (compared to Gatwick) is outweighed by greater economic benefits.  The Tories seem to have simply swallowed arguments made by Gatwick management on limited damage to the Sussex environment.  The working class communities around both airports will be hit worst by the environmental impact and feel least economic benefits.  Now MPs have said that the Tories are watering down environmental commitments too far causing airport expansion to breach climate change limits and damage other parts of Britain’s economy


Locally, Sussex LRC shares the concerns of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) that during the NPS consultation process thousands of people around Heathrow may be encouraged to ‘vote for Gatwick’ by the campaigns of the London councils and the Mayor of London, as well as the high profile lobbying and advertising campaign being run by Gatwick Airport itself.  The consultation asks people whether they would prefer the Heathrow runway or a Gatwick runway.  This is a classic example of divide and rule.  We should be united in opposing any airport expansion at both Gatwick and Heathrow.

Please respond to the NPS consultation before it closes on 25 May, emphasising the environmental disadvantages of Gatwick expansion and exposing the inaccuracies in the pro-Gatwick case.  Sussex needs to show strong opposition to expansion at Gatwick, without abandoning our friends at Heathrow.  It is not for us to campaign in favour of a new Heathrow runway. 

Find out much more about these and other issues connected with Gatwick Airport via the GACC website and more generally from campaigners Plane Stupid.



Clear message from campaigners to MPs. Photo via Plane Stupid.


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