Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Message from Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Liberal Democrat member of the European Parliament for London

This message was sent prior to the No to Domestic Flights Demo at London City Airport last Saturday:

Dear friends,

I'm sorry I can't be with you here in person today to help call for an end to domestic flights in the UK, a cause I strongly support. Domestic flights are unnecessary, completely contrary to our commitments to reduce CO2 emissions, and only worsen London’s air and noise pollution.

The LibDem/Tory coalition government has already of course made a great new start on aviation policy by cancelling Labour's third runway at Heathrow, which was a product of the tired old 'predict and provide' policy so beloved of airlines and airport operators. What a victory that was for those of us who have been campaigning against Heathrow expansion for years. The new government has also said it will refuse new runways at Gatwick and Stansted. Regarding aviation tax, the government has also committed to implementing a per-plane rather than per-passenger levy. The coalition is also pushing ahead with High Speed 2 between London and Birmingham, and have pledged to work towards a truly national high speed rail network in the long-term. There is a lot of urgent work to be done, but at least we are now moving in the right direction.

I believe that in that context the case against expansion at London City is not only just, but has a chance of being listened to. Many thanks for your hard work and persistence in this cause, and for those of you that are going, have a good trip up to Manchester!

Best wishes,

Sarah Ludford