Runway ramble at Molehill Green
HUNDREDS of people turned out for the seventh annual Runway Ramble on Saturday morning, joined by some rather high profile dignitaries. Essex County Council deputy leader Peter Martin and Uttlesford District Council leader Jim Ketteridge joined over 200
HUNDREDS of people turned out for the seventh annual 'Runway Ramble' on Saturday morning, joined by some rather high profile dignitaries.
Essex County Council deputy leader Peter Martin and Uttlesford District Council leader Jim Ketteridge joined over 200 ramblers as they toured the area around Duton Hill and Molehill Green, the site for BAA's second runway proposal.
Speaking in Molehill Green at the start of the event, SSE Chairman Peter Sanders reminded those taking part of the wider significance of BAA's plans: "While our focus today is on what would happen in the immediate vicinity of the airport in terms of the loss of homes and heritage, we must not forget that the impacts of a second runway would also extend across East Anglia," he said.
"People in Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire would all suffer from the increase in overflying that would result from the tripling of aircraft movements which BAA is seeking.
"They would also have to contend with greater pressure on the region's road and rail network because of the airport operator's emphasis on encouraging passengers to travel to Stansted by road and its reluctance to invest in the rail service to accommodate the proposed expansion," he added.
Cllr Peter Martin also spoke, reinforcing Essex County Council's outright opposition to the second runway plans in common with local authorities representing some six million people across the region. The county council is a member of the CO2 Group - Councils Opposed to Second Runway - and will be playing an active role in the public inquiry which will be held to determine the application.
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BAA says a second runway in the south of England is a necessity in order to meet travel and holiday demands during the coming decades.
A spokesman said: "Another runway is proposed at Heathrow too - expected to open around 2020 - but this alone will not solve the severe lack of airport capacity in the South East. Even with an extra runway at Stansted, and one at Heathrow, forecasted demand will still not be fully satisfied.
"Current lack of capacity will increasingly impact on leisure and business travellers alike. Holidays, short breaks, visiting friends and family will be among the things increasingly difficult to do unless we plan ahead."
There is a fortnight to go before the September 26 deadline for people to send their views on the second runway application to Uttlesford District Council. All representations should be sent to UDC (Planning), London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4ER, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org