New campaign group formed over airport expansion plans
PUBLISHED: 20:51 29 February 2012 | UPDATED: 21:06 20 February 2013
Angry residents living under Luton Airport's flight paths have formed a new campaign group called Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion, or HALE.
Angry residents living under Luton Airports flight paths have formed a new campaign group called Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion, or HALE.
This is in direct response to Luton Borough Councils plans to create an airport bigger than Stansted or Manchester on the already congested site to optimise the cash return for Luton.
'Residents across Hertfordshire will experience more noise, more air pollution and more congestion on their roads and railways, whilst Luton Borough Council pockets the cash,' said Nigel Emms, a founder member of HALE.
'Its also outrageous that Luton Borough Council, which owns the Airport, can decide on its own planning application for such a controversial project,' he added.
HALE held its first public meeting in Flamstead Village Hall on Thursday 23rd February andsupporters say they want Luton Borough Council to:
- STOP highly controversial expansion plans which will see the airport double its operational capacity, becoming bigger than Stansted or Manchester Airports.
- COMMIT the airport operator to resolve the long-running issue of noisy night flights passing directly over rural communities.
- COMMIT the airport operator to be a better neighbour by resolving the problem of the year-on-year day and night increase in aircraft noisiness.
HALE opposes the proposed development of the Airport on a number of grounds including:
- The airport already generates unacceptable noise over surrounding communities, especially at night and in the early morning.
- The existing road and rail infrastructure is insufficient to cope with double the airport traffic. This would detrimentally affect the M1, A5, A1081, A505 and Lower Luton Road, plus the commuter rail link to and from London.
- The proposed expansion encourages short-haul international air travel, against the UKs commitments on carbon footprint reduction.
- The Councils claims regarding job creation are overstated due to the effect of increased automation, and they ignore the jobs that would be exported by encouraging more overseas travel.
- The proposal ignores the cost to UK business of daily congestion on the M1 and on First Capital Connect.
Mike Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead and Under Secretary of State for Transport, has pledged his support for the group after receiving a detailed report from the HALE team.
The group has launched a website at www.hale.uk.net