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Time to step up opposition to airports

November 5, 2002 12:00 AM

A West Midlands Euro-MP is calling for local people in Warwickshire and the West Midlands to tell the government what they think about the Department for Transport's airport proposals in the last three weeks of the official consultation period.

The Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne said:

"With just over three weeks to go before the end of the consultation, it is vital that as many people as possible write in and show their opposition to the proposed new airport in Rugby and second runway at Birmingham International. Elected politicians and local authorities can represent people's views to a certain extent, but only individual action will impress upon Whitehall the strength of local feeling on the issue."

On Monday, Liz met with representatives from the "Freedom to Fly" coalition, which includes the CBI, TUC, Institute of Directors and the British Tourist Authority to discuss the future of UK air transport. She lobbied them on the question of air traffic growth in the West Midlands Region and found unanimous opposition to the plans at Rugby Airport.

"Business leaders don't want it, trade unionists don't want it, even the aviation industry doesn't want it. The Rugby proposals are a non-starter and the amount of worry and concern they have caused local people is unforgivable," Liz said.

Liz has also united in opposition to plans for a second runway at Birmingham International, and has rejected the airport's own suggestion of a smaller second runway.

"It is gratifying that Birmingham International Airport have attempted to address local people's concerns about noise and damage to the environment, but they do not go nearly far enough. We should be addressing the current under use of the airport and work to limit air traffic growth before talking about any further expansion in such a built up area."

Notes: the Department for Transport's consultation ends on 30 November. Copies of the consultation documents are available from www.airconsult.gov.uk or by phoning 0845 100 5554.