Residents from flood stricken areas of Yorkshire and Humberside blockaded the Government Office in Leeds on Friday to protest at its continued promotion of airport expansion. Inspired by last year’s camp for climate action at Heathrow, the protesters from Hull, South Yorkshire and the Calder Valley used pop-up tents to set up camp outside the main entrance.
The timing of the protest coincided with the final stages in the adoption of the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) – the area’s fifteen year development plan which is currently on the desk of government minister Baroness Andrews, awaiting final approval. The plan allows for a threefold expansion of passenger flights from Yorkshire and Humberside.
Government transport policies were singled out for criticism by the plan’s Sustainability Appraisal, which commented that any positive impacts of proposed changes to the RSS might not be able to counter wider negative trends.
The protesters made a formal presentation of a scientific briefing for consideration by Baroness Andrews and issued the following statement::-
"We are continually bombarded with messages asking us to 'do our bit', but this should go for government too. It is shameful that their policy to expand aviation and unsustainable economic development is totally at odds with their stated policy to reduce CO2 emissions.
They are flying in the face of science, and undermining any hope of preventing climate change accelerating beyond control. Yorkshire and Humberside will be particularly hard hit, because of our vulnerability to coastal erosion and flooding. This will spell misery for hard working families throughout the region".