Why #gatwickcant

Email your views or questions to the Prime Minister at https://email.number10.gov.uk/

1. The UK Economy

Gatwick Airport does not link up directly with two major Government infrastructure investment projects – Crossrail and HS2 - so why invest billions in an airport that will not link to these major developments and therefore not benefit the UK economy or connections with the Northern regions and nations?

2. Gatwick is simply in the wrong place to be a hub

Gatwick is the wrong side of London. Gatwick Airport is accessed by one road (the M23 will exceed capacity by 2040 – this is without any expansion at Gatwick) and one railway, the Brighton Main Line, both of which are already congested; with the railway at breaking point. So how will the : 55 million passengers1 and 32,000 new workers2 that Gatwick need, get to an airport that has poor infrastructure to support it? The taxpayer will pay ie YOU.

3. Gatwick does not connect the UK

This Sussex airport does not connect with the London underground network. 280 stations, 250 miles of track, which carries 1.2 billion passengers annually – but none anywhere near Gatwick.

4. Gatwick competes for low cost, short haul airlines not the long haul routes which will support the UK economy.

Gatwick’s competition comes from Stansted and Luton as low cost airlines seek cheap landing fees. This means less time on the ground to carry business-supporting cargo and more frequent take-off and landing over our local area.

5. Gatwick argue onward surface access is not their problem but it will be yours

There is a real danger that Gatwick is relying on the £2billion of funding earmarked to relieve pressure for commuters on the Southern Rail line3, to absord the hundreds or thousands of extra airport passengers per week. Gatwick have not committed to pay for any rail upgrades, yet our rail line could be pushed to breaking point by Gatwick’s passengers.

6. Gatwick is a holiday airport

80% of Gatwick’s passengers are travelling to Europe4. In a post-Brexit world, it is sensible to spend money on a leisure airport that has a poor record of maintaining long-haul business routes especially to emerging countries; which are vital to connect with for trade, investment and tourism which supports the UK economy.

7. Gatwick already brings employment problems

Counties that enjoy low unemployment surround Gatwick; so where will the staff come from and where will they live? Our Local Authorities are already struggling to meet housing demands as well as the on-going pressure on our road and Southern Rail line. You have to ask how much will the infrastructure of new transport infrastructure, housing and the schools and hospitals to serve them – roughly a new town the size of Crawley - is going to cost the Government and you?

8. Gatwick benefits whom?

Should a Government be looking to invest in an airport that is the wrong side of London and benefits its foreign equity fund owners the most?

9. Gatwick currently destroys tranquillity and threatens treasured English heritage.

We are opposed to what Gatwick is proposing; an expansion of the airport will devastate our communities and devalue the regions of West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey and Kent. A second runway at Gatwick and the additional flight paths will destroy tranquillity from rural communities and places of heritage such as Hever Castle, Penshurst Place and Chiddingstone Castle; all vital areas that bring tourism to the UK and money to the regional economy. Areas of outstanding natural beauty that surround Gatwick will be threatened by flight noise and emissions whilst expansion will bulldozer 17 listed buildings5; all of which are of national and international significance. This would be the biggest single destruction of listed buildings since the Blitz6.

10. Gatwick has little support

The Independent Airports Commission - after 3 years of expert research and £20m of taxpayers’ money - tells you that Gatwick came last in the report on Airport Expansion. 10 Conservative MPs and every borough, district, county and parish council in a 20-mile radius of Gatwick agree that Gatwick isn’t the answer.

11. Sir Howard Davies on Gatwick’s attempts to attack the Airports Commission’s findings

‘This dossier [Gatwick’s latest document] appears to repeat many points which Gatwick made to the Commission in the course of its work and which, unsurprisingly, were carefully considered. They did not alter the Commission’s view that Heathrow was the best option. Using colourful language, as Mr Wingate has done, does not turn weak points into strong ones, and does him and his company no credit.’

1 Gatwick Vision: Connecting the UK Nations and Regions to Global Growth – pg. 4
2 Airports Commission: Local Economy Impacts Assessment Post Consultation Updates – pg.16
3 Network Rail, “Sussex Area Route Study” pg.126 and pg.134
4 Airport IS Data, 2016.
5 Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign Report, “Heritage and Countryside” – pg. 1

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