LAST year I gave evidence, alongside many others, against the proposal to build a Motorway Service Area near Junction 4 or Junction 5 of the M42. Without rehearsing the arguments again, either site would have been pretty disastrous.
The Inspector’s decision to refuse development is a red letter day for local residents and a victory for the environment.
Despite the strength of our arguments, this could have gone either way and the decision is a testament to the hundreds of individuals whose voices together carried the day.
I am delighted that the decision has gone in favour of local residents and for preservation of the greenbelt in the Meriden Gap.
Not so great for the people living around Heathrow, is the announcement that a third runway is to go ahead there. To offer the sop that only ‘green’ aircraft will be able to use the new runway is frankly an insult to our intelligence.
At the same time Government also announced plans for a high speed rail link between Heathrow and Birmingham. However, there are concerns that Heathrow will gobble up all the carbon credits and suck business from the Midlands into its giant maw.
The third runway arguably wouldn’t have been necessary at all if the high-speed rail link had extended to Scotland and other parts of our island: short hop flights which are particularly destructive of the ozone layer would have been less appropriate and unneeded.
I know not everyone is with me on this, but I think that when we have the extension to our own single runway at BIA, Midlands people will be able to fly almost anywhere in the world from our own doorstep. And the rest of the world will be able to fly directly to us. That’s less travel to get to the airport, shorter overall travel time, a far more customer-friendly airport to fly from and more local jobs for local people.