Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Two cheers for Jon Rogers
Two cheers for Jon Rogers. Presumably he's behind the city's response to the airport expansion plans, now awaiting a decision from North Somerset council.
Given the 'official' council position, after it first mutilated, then adopted, the motion that Charlie Bolton brought to full council back in March, outright opposition to expansion was never going to be an option.
Still, there's lots of constructive comment in there. In particular, it points out BIA's failure to put a persuasive case for the economic or environmental benefits of expansion. It calls for a far stronger commitment to noise reduction, and notes that road traffic generation will lead to a worsening of the already unacceptably poor air quality in the city if expansion goes ahead.
On climate change, it notes that, even excluding the worst offenders, the aircraft themselves; "the proposed development will significantly increase the West of England carbon emissions and make it difficult to meet our existing reduction targets (which exclude aviation emissions) particularly due to increases in surface transport CO2 emissions". As if it wasn't difficult enough already.
But sadly, the mitigation measures it suggests are no more than tinkering at the edges. More airport buses to more destinations, that sort of thing. The elephant in the sky is ignored.
And there's a disturbing, if predictable, reference to the South Bristol Link. Remember, that's the one currently under consultation to see whether it should be a road, a public transport, or a hybrid route? Looks like the decision's already made, it's to be a road, a final link in a South Bristol Ring Road. The response says "South Bristol Link would be likely to reduce airport traffic on Bristol's network in the vicinity of Parson Street gyratory....". I don't think that'll be down to the passengers from Hengrove who'd get the rapid transit over to Ashton Gate to change on to the 'Flyer' coach.
That's the trouble. It's hard to criticise the airport's added climate change impacts when you're busy doing just the same thing yourself by building more roads.
Hat tip: Bristol 24-7 for the news item.