Stansted airport expansion creates both opportunities and challenges

Published: 15 Nov 2018

Hertfordshire County Council has broadly welcomed the opportunities offered by an expanded Stansted but remains concerned about impacts on the ground, particularly about how passengers will get to and from the airport. On 14 November Uttlesford District Council’s decided to permit the expansion of Stansted Airport to handle 43 million passengers a year.

Derrick Ashley, Cabinet Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, said: “There’s an obvious economic opportunity here for the county and we want to grasp that. As the airport grows we need to build a strong economic relationship that will benefit Hertfordshire’s residents and businesses while protecting our environment and communities.

“We know that potential impact of expanding an already busy airport is a major concern for our residents. We’re pleased that Uttlesford District Council has accepted the need for suitable restrictions and conditions to keep those impacts to a minimum.

“We do still have concerns about how passengers will get to the airport to catch their flights, however we are pleased that Stansted has committed to improving access to the airport, particularly by options other than the car. In particular we will be pursuing potential for a 24 hour bus service running to the airport to and from the west across Hertfordshire so passengers catching early or late flights can leave their cars at home. We’re improving the roads to Stansted, for example by building a bypass around Little Hadham on the A120, but we can’t just keep building new roads, we need to improve public transport as well.”

Hertfordshire County Council has been working with East Herts District Council, Essex County Council, Uttlesford District Council and Stansted Airport to understand the impact expanding the airport will have on the surrounding area. Technical work and specialist experts have demonstrated that the impact on noise, air quality and traffic are all manageable as long as suitable conditions are in place.