| Press Release - 19 February 2006
MOTORCADE MARATHON HIGHLIGHTS EXTENT OF AIRPORT EXPANSION LAND GRAB
The extent of the enormous land grab being proposed for a second runway at Stansted was the focus of attention on the morning of Sunday 19 February when a motorcade of 120 cars decorated with balloons and anti-expansion posters toured some of the communities directly threatened by airport expansion plans.
The objective of the 26 mile marathon was to enable people to see for themselves the gigantic scale of the development being proposed for the airport. Around 400 people are estimated to have taken part.
The second runway and associated expansion being sought by airport developer BAA would mean that Stansted would become even bigger than Heathrow from 9.5sq km today to 16sq km in 2030, compared with 12 sq km at Heathrow and with even more passengers passing through each year from 22m today at Stansted to 76m by 2030, compared with 68m at Heathrow today.
The convoy, organised by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE), was led by a 1947 Bentley Clubman Coupe in campaign colours yellow and black - and a 1914 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, lent for the occasion by Great Easton vintage car specialists P & A Wood. The lead vehicles were followed by other classic and vintage cars including a Riley, MGB and four Austen Sevens, and by many more modern vehicles decorated with balloons and posters highlighting opposition to the second runway proposals.
The motorcade set off from Birchanger Services and passed through countryside and villages such as Burton End, Broxted, Molehill Green and Bambers Green which are directly threatened by BAA's preferred runway plans. The route also took in some of the neighbouring villages including Henham, Elsenham, Tilty, the Eastons and Takeley which, amongst others, would be severely affected if expansion went ahead.
SSE Campaign Director Carol Barbone said: "While the outrageous size of the land grab being proposed by BAA is of serious concern given the 87 homes including 25 listed buildings and 627 hectares of countryside that the company wants to destroy, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The impacts of an expanded Stansted would in fact be felt much further afield."
A second runway would bring an extra million passengers per week travelling to and from the airport, largely by road, and the noise from increased air traffic would affect great swathes of the region. Carbon dioxide emissions resulting from a tripling of aircraft using the airport as well as from those accessing an expanded airport by road are also a matter for serious concern. None of these factors have been addressed by BAA's current consultation on the second runway plans.
SSE is urging people to make clear to BAA their opposition to a second runway in any position before the consultation closes on 24 March.
Some Photographs of the Motorcade Marathon
DID YOU KNOW?
It would take 8,000 cars on the motorcade to match the environmental damage of a single round trip to Prague by plane.
Assume the average car on the 26 mile route uses one gallon of petrol - i.e 100 gallons for 100 cars, which converts to just over one ton of carbon dioxide.
A round trip to Prague in a Boeing 737 would use about 5 tons of fuel each way. These 10 tons convert to 31 tons of carbon dioxide. This needs to be multiplied by the radiative force index (2.7) to reflect the particular problem with aircraft emissions at high altitude so it is the equivalent of 84 tons of carbon dioxide.
Another way of looking at this is by looking at the flights in and out of Stansted Airport which are currently producing the equivalent of 19,000 tons of carbon dioxide every day. One ton of carbon dioxide produced by the motorcade is regrettable but a small price to pay if it helps us rein back expansion plans which would result in Stansted producing the equivalent of 63,000 tons of carbon dioxide every day.
Carol Barbone, Campaign Director, Stop Stansted Expansion M 0777 552 3091 or email@example.com
SSE Campaign Office 01279 870558 or firstname.lastname@example.org