20th May 2003

Expansion not a Foregone Conclusion if Silent Majority Speaks Out

Anyone who thinks that the expansion of Stansted Airport is a foregone conclusion should think again – and take a leaf out of what has happened in the past – say campaigners at Stop Stansted Expansion.

Over the past 35 years the local community has been threatened with extra runways THREE times. On each occasion these proposals have been successfully rebutted due to the strength of public opposition. The key has been a commitment from local people to stand up and be counted – rather than remaining a silent majority.

Now, however, with little more than a month to go before the government’s latest consultation closes on 30th June, there is very little time left for people to follow suit and make their voices heard.

To tackle this, Stop Stansted Expansion has announced that a ‘final countdown’ public meeting will be held at the Rhodes Centre, South Street, Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday 3 June at 8pm. Local MPs and spokesmen from Uttlesford and East Herts District Councils will share the platform with Stop Stansted Expansion, with plenty of time for question and answer discussion.

The aim is to raise awareness of the impact expansion would have across the 70 or more towns and villages throughout the region which will be affected by the massive increase in noise, urbanisation and traffic problems which would result from extra runways at the airport. It will also highlight the threat to heritage, the environment and health which airport expansion and induced development would bring.

The organisers will strive to encourage those who have not yet really thought about the implications of the expansion proposals to come and find out more. They also want to stimulate a final burst of action through letter writing and questionnaire completion to help people to communicate their views to government before it is too late.

“Many people across the region – not least in Bishop’s Stortford where the meeting will be held – are still unaware of the full implications of airport expansion and how it will affect them,” warned campaign director Carol Barbone. “They fail to realise that expanding Stansted from the 16 million passengers who used it last year to an airport double the size of Heathrow with 129 million passengers will severely affect life across the region.”

“Not only will whole communities disappear,” she continued, “but an irreplaceable and major chunk of heritage will be lost with the destruction of homes and many listed buildings both for the development of the new runway and associated road and rail development beyond the airport. Scores of local towns and villages will also be affected, losing their identity as they disappear into the noisy, polluted urban sprawl which will creep across the region to feed what will be the world’s largest airport. People must act now before it is too late.”

Admission to the public meeting is free. Further information can be obtained from the campaign office on T 01279 870558 or at info@stopstanstedexpansion.com


Campaigning to ensure Stansted Airport's authorised operations stay below harmful limits