Kent County Council has chosen to lobby for airport expansion, ahead of the Government’s consultation planned for this summer(1). Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, explains why Kent County Council should be challenged:
“Kent Green Party is unimpressed that Kent County Council is not waiting for the results of the Government’s imminent consultation on aviation. It has launched its own discussion document, Bold Steps for Aviation, with remarkably little regard for domestic tourism in Kent and Medway or the environment.
“KCC proposes a massive plan of rail expansion to serve airports, when Kent commuters do not have enough carriages for weekday rush hour travel. They propose expansion of Lydd and Manston Airports, despite economic problems at both. They support a 2nd runway for Gatwick, despite the noise and pollution implications for West Kent (2). Their only restraint is in opposing an Estuary Airport.
“Aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe(3). We cannot reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the claimed policy of the Coalition Government, unless we make radical reductions in aircraft emissions. Air Passenger Duty is too low. Many people are making aircraft journeys when train and ferry options to Europe exist. Our domestic tourism would benefit if air travel was a lot more expensive and train fares were lower. Above all, KCC must not encourage the idea that we should meet travel demand for flying. This is economically and environmentally irresponsible. Do let them know this at email@example.com"
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, on 01732 355185 or 079444 71083.
Contact address as above. Dr Hazel Dawe is Head of Law Programmes in a School of Management. Promoted by H.Dawe and published by Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.
Monthly free ezine KENT GREEN NEWS available for subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org
1. Bold Steps for Aviation is a KCC discussion document which suggests an incredibly highly damaging proposal of a 2nd runway at Gatwick, amongst other silly ideas: https://shareweb.kent.gov.uk/Documents/News/Bold%20Steps%20for%20Aviation%20May%202012.pdf . Do make comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. This is not just about “Flightpath communities’ such as Edenbridge or Cowden, there are already quite of lot of low flying aircraft above Tonbridge each summer. A 2nd runway would significantly extend the noise and air pollution ‘footprint’ of the Airport. It would also dash the hopes of the Gatwick can be quieter campaigning group, who are resisting the existing impacts of Gatwick: http://www.gatcan.com/index.php