Residents from West Sussex and Surrey highlighted their concerns over Gatwick expansion at Number 10 Downing Street yesterday morning.
Campaigners handed in a document containing a letter from 10 local MPs calling on transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin to act over what they claim is Gatwick’s “misleading advertising” over air quality.
The lobby has been organised by Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (Cagne).
The group claims that an expanded Gatwick would have worse air quality than Heathrow, “since it has not alternative surface access other than a single railway line and a single road, both of which are heavily congested”.
A second runway at the airport would lead to an “unbearable increase” in aircraft noise due to a more than doubling of the number of annual flights from 250,000 to 560,000.
Horsham MP, Jeremy Quin, said: “Infrastructure in our area is already facing severe challenges.
“An extra runway at Gatwick would place an impossible strain on public transport, which was never designed to accommodate an airport, which would be busier than Heathrow.
“Public transport is incapable of coping with all the extra employees that would need to commute in long distances, let alone the extra passengers. This in turn would result in a huge increase in car traffic with all that that implies.”
The airport said: “Gatwick’s position remains unchanged. Gatwick will continue to meet all legal air quality standards.”
The airport claims improved rail services will keep traffic levels down.
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