This week I responded to the planning application by Bristol International Airport (BIA) to expand. Regular blog readers will know I've followed this issue on this blog - we are now getting to crunch time. This development aims to increase passengers by 60% by 2016, increase passenger flights by 40%, summer night flights by 50%, car journeys by over 2m per year, and carbon emissions by at least 40%.
Photo: Banksy cartoon - he also has an exhibition at Bristol Museum which I hope to go to
This will mean more traffic on country roads, more noise day and night, more countryside eaten up by car parking, and more climate changing impacts.
It is argued that expansion will be good for tourism, but between 6 and 10 times as many tourists are outbound rather than inbound, leading to £700m being drained from the UK economy each year. Expansion will make this worse. Recently, the weak pound has caused passenger numbers to drop by 15% or more, but local tourist destinations have seen more visitors than last year.
BIA claim that expansion will create 3500 jobs in the region, but only 900 of these are within the airport and the rest of the jobs appear to be wishful thinking. The outflow of tourism spending destroys far more jobs than this. Even 800 jobs looks high when the expansion is based on no-frills airlines.
Business passengers can already use BIA to reach anywhere in the world through Paris, Amsterdam and Newark. Expansion would not bring any significant change to this, it is targeted at outbound tourists.
We have until 7th August to tell North Somerset council why this expansion is not needed, and why it is bad for the economy as well as the environment.
You can object to the expansion in the following ways:
1) you can visit the campaign website and use the email form www.stopbia.com/objection.php
2) you can email the council yourself at firstname.lastname@example.org, refering to planning application number 09/P/1020/OT2, please copy your email to email@example.com
3) write a letter to
Neil Underhay, re: application 09/P/1020/OT2
Development Control, North Somerset Council, Somerset House, Oxford Road, Weston super Mare BS23 1TG