Stansted campaigners warn Blair over runway expansion
Saturday 25 October 2003
Campaigners lobbying to prevent the construction of a new runway at Stansted hit out yesterday at the disclosure that the Essex airport is the site favoured by Tony Blair.
Stop Stansted Expansion warned the Prime Minister that he would have a huge fight on his hands if he attempted to foist a new runway onto residents living near the airport.
The lobby group also saida second runway would not be economically viable because Stansted only survived at present with cross subsidies from BAA's two other London airports - Heathrow and Gatwick.
The angry reaction came as it emerged that the Government's decision on where to build new runway capacity could be delayed from its December deadline because of Cabinet in-fighting. The Chancellor Gordon Brown is strongly in favour on economic grounds of a third runway at Heathrow. But the Stansted option is supported by the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and the Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett, as well as the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.
Supporters of the Stansted option say it would be less damaging to the environment and would affect far fewer Labour constituencies because of the airport's remote location in open countryside.
But Carol Barbone, campaign director of Stop Stansted Expansion, said: "Putting party politics ahead of what is right for this country merits our utter contempt and quite possibly the contempt of the courts.
"If the Prime Minister thinks he is going to have an easy ride by forcing his views on the people of this region, he'll be taking on more than he bargained for."
The campaigners also released a report by an economist, Professor David Starkie, which they claimed cast serious doubt on the feasibility of adding extra runways at Stansted. The report claimed extra runways would not be commercially viable unless it was cross-subsidised.
Professor Starkie also said Stansted's financial performance had been "astonishingly bad" since its last major expansion in the early 1990s, which has lifted passenger numbers to 17 million a year.
BAA rejected the claims, saying Stansted had broken into profit six years after opening and made a £43m profit last year. A spokeswoman said it was also at the point where it could cover its own cost of capital and would very soon be in a position to be self-financing.
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...