Campaigners urge Bristol Airport expansion U-turn
Campaigners are calling on civic leaders to reverse their support for the expansion of Bristol Airport.
The protesters want the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) to write a letter of opposition to North Somerset Council planners who will decide the application on 10 February.
They say the expansion is at odds with Weca's climate emergency stance.
The airport submitted proposals to boost passenger numbers to 12 million a year by the mid-2020s.
The scheme also includes a multi-storey car park and expanded baggage handling areas but plans for a new terminal have been shelved.
Neighbouring parish councils have said local roads could not cope with any increase.
Weca declared a climate emergency last July, following the lead of the three local authorities which comprise it, Bristol City, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset councils.
The organisation is now preparing its action plan to be unveiled this spring.'Totally out of date'
Hilary Burn, Parish Councils Airport Association chair, and a Cleeve parish councillor, said: "We are asking you to change the Weca letter of January 2019 from support to objection.
She said the letter was "totally out of date" because it referred to the Joint Spatial Plan, the region's housing blueprint which was thrown out by government inspectors last summer.
Campaigner Liz Rees said: "I was heartened to learn that Weca had declared a climate emergency in response to growing public demands to commit to carbon neutrality.
"Why has Weca not opposed the expansion of Bristol Airport?
"You cannot endorse the expansion of the airport at the same time as really acknowledging and understanding that there is a climate emergency," she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Bristol Airport says it had responded to the climate emergency declarations by bringing forward its plan to make it "carbon neutral" by 2025.
It also plans an increased use of electric vehicles, a shift to renewable energy and increasing the cost of its drop-off parking as this is the "least sustainable way" to get to the airport.