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Welsh Assembly blocks airport plans.

Wednesday 15 January 2003

The Welsh Assembly have rejected demands for a feasibility study into a proposed international airport at Severnside. A lack of support by the Assembly Government may cripple the project, which rest on the success of a feasibility study. The £2bn proposal, backed by ANZ bank, was submitted to the Department of Transport earlier in the week. The current popularity of Cardiff International Airport is believed to be a critical factor in the Assembly’s unwillingness to support the Severnside proposal. Environmental issues such as increased emissions and land usage would also figure highly in considering any new airport or airport expansion.

Martin Shrewsbury of the Green Party of England and Wales commented; "£2 billion to create 13,000 jobs is not a sound investment. Studies have argued that £2.2 billion investment in a package of Green policies to tackle climate change could create half a million jobs. There's a definite downside to stimulating air tourism, because far more money flies out of Wales than flies in. For the UK as a whole, air tourism causes a balance-of-payments deficit of £8.6 billion a year. There are many job-creation possibilities that aren't currently being exploited and which wouldn't have such adverse side-effects. Things like renewable energy, public transport, conversion to organic agriculture, all offer big increases in employment. To give just one example, the zero waste strategy the Green Party proposed recently would create at least 50,000 UK jobs."

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