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Greens condemn flawed airport consultation – Government pushes to make Manchester Airport the size of Heathrow

news release

Friends of the Earth – who are part of the national AirportWatch campaign against unsustainable airport growth – have condemned the way in which the Department for Transport organised a consultation event about their proposals to expand Manchester airport to the size of Heathrow airport by 2030 [1].

Graeme Sherriff of Manchester FoE [2] commented: “This scale of expansion, which would see the  number of passengers triple at Manchester Airport and double the number of aircraft movements, is simply unsustainable. They are now even considering the construction of a third runway, and a fourth terminal and taxiways in the Greenbelt. Tens of thousands more people will be affected by aircraft noise, during the night as well; and the pressure on the road network and car parking will be enormous. It’s important people let their MPs know they are against the Goverment’s proposals.”

Friends of the Earth have also criticised the failure to offer the communities under the Manchester Airport flight path anything other than a choice of different levels of massive growth. No options to manage the demand at the airport to a sensible level were presented to the public. The campaigns are also disappointed about the lack of publicity for a recent consultation event – with notice being given only on the Friday (11th October) before the Monday (14th) event – at an inaccessible venue, 25 minutes walk from the nearest rail station. In practice, only car users could attend.

Frank Kennedy, Regional Campaigns Coordinator for FoE added: “You have to say that this sort of consultation is a sham. No wonder the people FoE spoke to at the event – almost all of whom deeply objected to these proposals – were completely disillusioned by what they saw. They knew that they weren’t being offered a genuine choice, between growth or no growth at the airport. It was simply a question of where a new fourth terminal, or additional parallel taxiways, might be located. No wonder the Government publicised it so poorly, and located it away from where most people could attend. They obviously have something to hide.”

For further information:
Graeme Sherriff (Manchester Friends of the Earth): 07905 790 426
Anthony Rae (Airport Watch): 01422 845061 / 07876 630528

Notes to Editors
[1] The Department for Transport has published consultation documents on the future of the UK’s airports. These highlight massive growth scenarios for Manchester Airport.

[2] Manchester Friends of the Earth is a prominent pressure group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on their website: http://www.mcrfoe.dabsol.co.uk. Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a national network of local groups, affiliated to the national organisation (further information can be found at http://www.foe.co.uk).

 

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