Support for airports but no to third runway plans
Campaigners say UK poll shows politicians are out of touch
THE leader of an antiHeathrow expansion campaign group has slammed politicians for being “out of tune” with the public following a recent poll.
The independent survey by Ipsos Mori, published on July 24, revealed the majority of people in the UK want to see more airport capacity in the country, but support for a third runway was the lowest.
With 60% of people in agreement that Britain needs to either build a new airport or runway, a third of people are against any expansion at all.
Of those who favour expansion, 30% believe a new airport should be built, while 24% said Gatwick should be expanded by building a second runway, and 22% want a third runway at Heathrow.
However, when those who oppose all expansion are taken into account, support for a third runway at Heathrow mere 13%.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which opposes a third runway, said: “The politicians who back Heathrow expansion are simply out of tune with public opinion.
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“Moreover, this independent poll shows Heathrow-commissioned polls do not tell the full story.”
Environmental concerns and noise topped the list of people’s biggest concerns when it comes to airport expansion making up 69% of the most important issues when considering further airport capacity.
In comparison, the impact of creating more jobs and economic growth struck a chord with only 15% of the people surveyed.
Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, which conducted the UK poll, added: “Most Britons want our airport capacity increased, but there is no clear consensus on the best solution – remembering that this poll covered the whole country, not just London and the South East.
“At the moment, the public’s view is dominated by concerns about environmental impact and noise rather than jobs or cost.”
n CAMPAIGN: Chair of HACAN, anti noise group, John Stewart takes the podium to discuss noise issues and solutions at a aircraft noise summit at City Hall