Bristol Airport expansion decision prepares to land
A LOCAL councillor has shared his views on the proposed expansion of Bristol Airport ahead of a decision being made by North Somerset Council in September.
At the end of 2018 the airport submitted plans to boost passenger numbers to 12 million by 2026, enlarge its terminal, create 3,900 more parking spaces through a multi-storey car park, build a bus and coach station and make improvements to the on-site road layout. In addition, it has also requested for there to be a change to the seasonal restrictions on night flights, so that by 2026 an additional four flights would be run a night during the peak summer season.
As the airport is not served by trains and the majority of passengers arrive by private car, local residents close to the airport have expressed concerns that the expansion would worsen traffic problems in the area. In addition, more than 2,000 objections to the proposals have been received.
However, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees has given his support to the plans, stating that they will boost the economy and secure thousands of jobs.
Sharing his views, Steve Smith, Conservative Councillor for Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze said: “I support the airport expansion, which is crucial for jobs and growth not only in Bristol but across the South West. Of course the airport and the airlines that use it must carry on their businesses as sustainably as possible, but refusing the expansion would simply export emissions (and the jobs and growth that go with them) elsewhere, which helps nobody.”
James Collett is one of the hosts of Extinction Rebellion Bristol North, which started five months ago. The group meet at the Hall at 160 Gloucester Road (Pigsty Hill) on Tuesdays from 6.30pm, where members bring vegan food to share, and discussions then take place from 7 - 9pm.
James is concerned about the airport’s aim to be a carbon zero airport, and said: “A group of us recently went to Bristol Airport’s AGM, where they presented their road map to reduce carbon emissions and to be a net zero airport. Although they have a very glossy brochure, it actually just refers to the emissions that they have direct control or influence over, such as the buildings in the airport and a certain amount of the cars they use for the airport grounds. There is nothing to do with planes or travel to and from the airport, and in our opinion it’s a fairly misleading piece of greenwash, which we have pointed out.
“We are concerned about all the extra pollution that the airport expansion will generate, especially as Bristol Airport is virtually the only airports in the country that doesn’t have trains running to it, and 87% of people therefore go to and from the airport by private car, which adds massively to congestion and road pollution.”
To find out more about the airport’s plans, visit: www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/who-we-are/our-future