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Government told airport expansion doesn't add up

Airport expansion 'just doesn’t add up' trade unions and environmental and transport campaigners told the government today.

Lobby group Campaign for Better Transport joined unions and pressure groups to scrap plans for airport expansion, publishing an advertisement in the national press.

"The economic case for building a third runway is unproven," argues the groups. "With current plans in the region of £13bn, money would be better spent on a low-carbon and efficient high-speed rail network linking the UK's major cities with the rest of Europe.

"As trade unions and organisations that represent over 5M people, we believe the money should be invested in infrastructure like the rail network which would create jobs, generate business and help in the fight against climate change."

The groups say that if the Government pushes ahead with expanding our airports, the UK will never be able to meet the new target of cutting emissions by 80% by 2050 and play its part in fighting climate change.

Emissions reductions can be acheived, said Campaign for Better Transport, by tempting air passengers onto low-carbon alternatives such as trains and cite the Conservatives’ pledge to build a north-south high-speed rail line as a particularly effective approach to cutting short-haul business flights.

Campaign for Better Transport campaigns director Jason Torrance said: "If we are to have any hope of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050 investment must be put into alternatives to air travel to give people and businesses real choice."

Organisations supporting the advert are ASLEF, Campaign for Better Transport, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Connect, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, HACAN ClearSkies, NoTRAG, Public and Commercial Services Union, Restore UK, RMT, Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, UNISON, World Development Movement and 2M group.

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