Herts Ad Comment: Airport growth and snow spirit

STOCK Generic office

STOCK Generic office - Credit: Archant

And so it begins. The announcement that Luton Airport intends to expand to up to 38 million passengers a year by 2050 is catastrophic for residents of this district.

Not only will it mean more people using our already choked transport network, but the environmental impact will be staggering, bringing with it more noise and more pollution.

London Luton Airport (LLA) is out of control. It has no checks and balances, and can basically do whatever it wants, as any key decisions are made by its owners Luton Borough Council.

How long do you think it will be before this relentless expansion drive results in a demand for a second runway? For new roads through the countryside? For new housing estates to support the airport’s workers?

When will we see the compulsory purchase orders come into practice and homeowners forced to move out of their properties to make way for the airport?

All of this, of course, comes before any substantial effort to improve noise disruption from planes passing over St Albans and Harpenden, something this newspaper has been highlighting for several years.

The government seems disinterested when it comes to LLA’s growth strategy, and the efforts of our local MPs have yet to yield fruit, so it seems as if nothing can stand in the way of this continued expansion.

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Elsewhere this week, the main topic of conversation was obviously the weather. Traffic chaos, closed schools, slippery pavements, the snow brought with it all the disruption one might expect.

But what it also prompted was a sense of community spirit which one might argue is often lacking from some quarters. People digging out each other’s cars, emergency relief parcels to stranded neighbours, and snowman-building competitions on social media were just some of the positives to come out of the blizzard.

It just goes to show that despite the differences which have polarised this country in recent years, when faced with adversity we will still come together to help out those in need. And isn’t that just what Christmas is all about?