Leeds Bradford Airport ‘selling a pup’ over plans for expansion

NEW LOOK: An artist's impression of how part of the new airport terminal will look. Councillors have hit out at the increase in traffic expansion will cause.
NEW LOOK: An artist's impression of how part of the new airport terminal will look. Councillors have hit out at the increase in traffic expansion will cause.
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Major airport extension plans at Leeds Bradford are ignoring the communities who live in the area, claim local councillors.

The airport announced plans last week to expand its capacity from three to four million passengers a year.

Local councillors point out that there was nothing included in the announcement of any additional infrastructure to support the expected big increase in passengers.

Liberal Democrat councillors for Horsforth Brian Cleasby and Chris Townsley are strongly critical of the plans which they believe will pile more traffic on to roads already suffering severe congestion.

Coun Chris Townsley (Lib Dem, Horsforth) said: “Many of the extra passengers coming from the south and the east will go through Horsforth to get to the airport.

“It’s all well and good the airport saying they want this massive expansion but they clearly haven’t given the slightest bit of thought to the effect they’ll have on local communities.

“Five years ago council officers declared that the A65 had reached its capacity. Nothing has been done to improve the situation yet today we find the airport director trying sell a pup to our community.

“A bigger airport must have improved roads, both to and from it.”

Coun Brian Cleasby (Lib Dem, Horsforth) said: “There is no consideration given in these plans to improve the road infrastructure leading to the airport.

“I have heard the chief executive of the airport say he wants to maximise the airport’s income from parking charges.

“This is outrageous, given how many times I have told him of my concerns that traffic from the east and south is being directed through Horsforth and Rawdon.

“The situation is so bad that route finder websites have started to direct traffic off the A65 and onto minor roads like Layton Lane in Rawdon as they reckon that’s now the quicker route.

“Quite frankly, the airport is trying to sell a pup to our community.”