Majority back Bristol Airport expansion according to poll

Bristol Airport has submitted plans to accomodate 12 million passengers per year

Bristol Airport has submitted plans to accomodate 12 million passengers per year - Credit: Bristol Airport

Three quarters of people surveyed support Bristol Airport’s expansion plan according to a new poll.

A YouGov poll of 350 people in North Somerset found 73 per cent back the airport’s plan to accommodate 12 million passengers per year by the mid-2020s.

The most commonly cited reasons for supporting the scheme were reducing the need to travel to London airports and increasing destination routes.

When asked what should be an essential part of the planning obligations for the project imposed by North Somerset Council, 86 per cent of respondents said road improvements are essential.

Simon Earles, the airport’s planning and sustainability, said: “We’ve always said our plans respond to demand from the public for improved airport facilities and access to even more destinations from their regional airport.

“This survey highlights the support which exists for our development plans from people in the local area.

“It also reinforces the need to make improvements to local roads, which is why any planning permission will be accompanied by significant investment in local junctions and public transport services.”

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However, the plans have faced stiff opposition online where they have received more than 1,800 objections from villagers, parish councils, and environmentalist groups on North Somerset’s planning portal.

Objections so far include concerns about increased levels of noise and pollution from additional day, flights at night-time, as well as encroachment onto the greenbelt, and additional strain on nearby roads and villages.

Several councils have also spoken out against the proposals with Yatton and Cleeve’s parish councillors opposing the project’s aims.

Yatton Parish Council said the airport should not expand until improvements were made to the M5 at junctions 20 or 21 to avoid additional traffic on A38 and A370.

A spokesman for the parish council said: “Bristol Airport is becoming one of the largest regional airports but is notable for its lack of adequate direct links to any major motorway or rail link by comparison to other regional airports.”