Campaigners have celebrated the Government’s decision to back a new runway at Heathrow over Gatwick.
Campaigners gathered at the Plough Inn, in Ifield, to hear the news and said years of uncertainty had now ended.
Sally Pavey, chair of Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE) said: “This clear decision will put an end to the years of uncertainty for our communities and the country.
“Gatwick expansion was always the wrong choice both from a national and a local perspective.
“Nationally, had Gatwick been chosen, Britain could not have competed with Europe’s excellent transport hubs because we would have had two inadequate hubs 40 miles apart with little or no connectivity.
“Locally, it would have brought our infrastructure to a standstill, destroyed our ancient woodlands, heritage sites, and areas of outstanding natural beauty, added numerous new flight paths over areas previously undisturbed and doubled flights over our skies night and day with no respite”.
She raised concerns about the area’s transport infrastructure stating it was ‘already at breaking point’ with expansion adding 100,000 extra road trips a day and 90,000 extra people on the train service.
In addition, she said that 60,000 workers and the effect on housing, schools, social and medical services, plus the cost, would bring the south east to a ‘grinding halt’ benefiting nobody but Gatwick’s off-shore owners.
Mrs Pavey said: “Gatwick is on the wrong side of London to benefit the whole country and would have delivered the least in terms of jobs and economic growth for every part of the country, and its ever-declining freight tonnage would do nothing for our exports post-Brexit.”.
She added: “Gatwick will always be a ‘bucket and spade’ airport for South East holidaymakers, no matter how much it protests.
“It is now time for Gatwick to accept the Airports Commission’s ‘unambiguous and unequivocal’ recommendation and the decision from Government and – and focus on making today’s airport quieter and cleaner, rather than doggedly continuing their campaign to boost their shareholders’ profits and bonuses, at the expense of local communities that have been blighted throughout Gatwick’s £40 million anti-Heathrow campaign.”
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