Magpie 36- Coalition Against Runway 2

Poiler, D. (1995) Coalition against Runway 2. Magpie 36, pp..19-20.


While we are on the subject of the airport, there was a note at the end of Magpie 35, “Manchester Aviation Tree Challenger, and you were promised more next issue. Well this is the next issue and the only reason for the mention was that we thought it rather ironic that the Airport, and several airlines, should be sponsoring a tree planting scheme when, if Runway II gets the go ahead, they will be responsible for the destruction of many acres of ancient woodland, and much more. “Never mind the wildlife, feel the sponsorship!” 

This leads us to the subject in hand. A new organisation, who are calling themselves, Coalition Against Runway II (CAR II), has been set up with a single aim: to stop runway 2 at Manchester. Any person who is in sympathy with this aim is welcome to join in. 

There are many arguments for and against – mainly against – a second runway. The pro arguments rely on the  claim that up to 50,000 jobs will be created. ‘This claim, made by Manchester City Council, a major shareholder in Manchester Airport plc, has been. revoked and disclaimed by many, notably MCC itself (an MCC witness at the public inquiry stated that only 8,500 jobs would be created). There are other covert arguments for the runway but these are largely played down because of their highly sensitive nature; being concerned with massive financial and political capital to  be made by a few individuals. (Same old story.) 

Arguments  against the runway proposal are diverse, and as many as there are people who will be detrimentally affected by it. Here are some of the arguments: Reference to the Green Party report “Pigs Can Fly”, which outlines the economic arguments, will indicate that rather than being an advantage, a second runway would actually be a burden on the local and national economy. Further considerations define the proposal as, what some environmentalists describe as “A major environmental catastrophe” affecting not only the local area but as a contributor to global warming and ozone depletion. 

For the people, the wildlife and thc natural environment in the North West, there will be unprecedented upheaval and destruction: 700 acres of open countryside and woodland, some compulsorily purchased from the National Trust – The River Bollin to be diverted through a concrete culvert – Wildlife habitats, including 140 ponds, many badger setts, and much prime farmland will be destroyed – 4 MILLION TONS of rubble and hard-core will be dumped in the Bollin Valley in order to create a 90 ft. high embankment to carry the runway. 

The calculated usage levels will saturate the local road network as one vehicle every two seconds arrives at the airport. That is 30 million extra journeys per year. This could create the need for another 120 miles of motorway and add to the levels of noise and air pollution, globally and in the most air-polluted region in the country. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO – Join the protest – Contact CAR II for more info. – Write to, or better, lobby your MP, Councillor, Euro MP – Form a local group. Direct actions will be taking place. 

(Information from the Coalition Against Runway II – Tel. 0161-225 4863) There will be a conference on Runway II organised by Environment. Transport and Planning Research on Saturday March the 3rd at Manchester Metropolitan University. Booking: Martin Lever 0161-226 0919. Low rates for local groups and individuals – should be a thought provoking day as many interesting speakers are booked.

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