John Penrose MP...

Over the last year, a lot of you have contacted me about Bristol Airport's plans for expansion. The first thing to say is that we all like to go somewhere warm and sunny for our holidays

Over the last year, a lot of you have contacted me about Bristol Airport's plans for expansion. The first thing to say is that we all like to go somewhere warm and sunny for our holidays, and cheap flights make it easier for all of us to travel. The problem is that planes are a major source of greenhouse gases, and every time we fly to Spain we're contributing to global warming. But the question of how we can all travel sustainably, without banning everyone from moving anywhere, ever, for business or pleasure, needs to be part of a national policy framework. It affects every airport, not just Bristol on its own. There are more local reasons why so many of you have been writing to me about Bristol's expansion plans. Firstly, there's the problem of traffic. Getting to and from Bristol on public transport isn't easy, so most people drive. The traffic in villages like Congresbury or Banwell is already bad, but it would get even worse if the number of charter flights goes up. The second problem is aircraft noise. The airport is already trying to cut noise levels by improving aircraft flight paths and making airlines use newer, quieter planes. But the Government measures average noise levels over a week or two, instead of the maximum when a plane is directly overhead. That means the impact on local people in villages like Congresbury or Yatton is understated, and will only get worse as the number of large planes goes up. So Liam Fox and I have teamed up as the local MPs to write a letter laying out our concerns. Most of us appreciate the convenience of having a good local airport, but we can't pretend that it's an easy neighbour, or that cheap flights don't come at a price.


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