Protesters cycle areas impacted by potential 'noisy flight route' if Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plans approved

Protesters cycled a total of 100 miles to highlight which areas could be affected by increased noise if Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) expansion plans are approved.

Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 4:58 pm

Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) campaigners took part in the 'Ride the Noise' cycle on Saturday, August 29.

Cyclists rode two routes around Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield to show which areas may be affected by sound pollution if the expansion plans are approved.

Organisers say this route matches the outline of the ‘noise map’ in the LBA expansion application.

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Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) campaigners took part in the 'Ride the Noise' cycle on Saturday, August 29.

LBA submitted plans to build a new £150million terminal in early 2020.

In the plans, they claimed that the ‘state of the art’ terminal would include three main floors with improved vehicle access.

The terminal would accommodate seven million passengers per year by 2030.

The plans have been met with some opposition from groups such as GALBA, Extinction Rebellion and young climate change activists.

Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) campaigners took part in the 'Ride the Noise' cycle on Saturday, August 29.

Cyclists split into two groups for the 'Ride the Noise' campaign.

The northern loop began in Millennium Square before heading to Ilkley, Lister Park in Bradford, Hall Park in Horsforth and back to the city centre.

The southern loop also began in Millennium Square and headed to County Hall in Wakefield, Middleton Park and back again.

Chair of GALBA, Chris Foren said: “We’re not going as far as the Tour de France riders but we are alerting people to what Leeds Bradford Airport expansion would mean.

"LBA wants to extend daytime flying hours to start at 6am and finish at 11.30pm, to impose no limit on the number of noisy flights permitted between 6am and 11.30pm, to allow planes to land up to 1am if they are behind schedule and to remove the limit on the total number of flights per night.

"LBA’s proposed night time ‘quota system’ would allow the equivalent of 20 flights by Airbus 320s between 11.30pm and 6am every night in the 6 months of summer. LBA’s own planning application says that 123,000 more people would be exposed to increased night-time noise."

He added: “Of course, LBA’s plans also would mean doubling the airport’s greenhouse gas emissions in the middle of the climate emergency.

"If expansion is allowed, from 2030 the airport would pump out more greenhouse gas emissions than allowed in the carbon budget for the whole of the rest of Leeds.

"We all share the same climate so we all need to protect it - for the sake of everyone’s future.”

-> Opposition to Leeds Bradford Airport expansion grows as 90 Leeds academics and third MP object to plansGALBA cyclists were supported by climate protesters Extinction Rebellion in Millennium Square.

Extinction Rebellion has held several protests this year against the expansion plans, both outside Leeds City Council’s Civic Hall headquarters and outside a public consultation meeting held at the Mercure Parkway Hotel.

The group claims the proposed expansion, yet to be approved by council planning chiefs, will add to climate change due to the increased number of flights likely to take place.

An Extinction Rebellion Families Leeds spokeswoman said: "It breaks my heart to see that businesses, corporations and individuals are still putting profit before the health and wellbeing of humans and all life on this planet.

"When we are facing the worst crises ever imagined - heat waves, floods, droughts and famine; when the world has been struck to stillness by a novel pandemic; when there are hundreds of thousands of people already suffering and dying due to man-made climate related problems; when will it finally be enough?

"I will be able to look my daughter in her eyes and tell her I tried to put an end to this madness, that we knew there was a better way to live and I fought for it with everything I had.

"I hope that more people realise that if we join together for the same cause we will have the power to change before we destroy ourselves completely."

A spokesperson for Leeds Bradford Airport said: “We value feedback from our communities on our proposals for a replacement terminal.

“While we can appreciate that people will be concerned about noise and emissions, we have made very clear provisions in our proposals around how we will mitigate risk and we encourage individuals to review the reports from leading experts on the portal.

“We also continue to work with the wider aviation industry on our own sustainable targets, which are regulated at an international level and are not part of Leeds City Council’s climate emergency commitments.”

The airport also claimed it had reduced its emissions by 45 percent in the last five years, and expected to see an increase in aircraft arrivals and departures from 30,000 to 46,000 per annum as part of the proposal.