A less parochial view

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I NOTED with interest the comments regarding support (or lack of) for Sheffield Airport from the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

As chair of the Sheffield Chamber Transport Forum representing a number of transport interested businesses and organisations in the region, I thought it was worth clarifying a few points.

In the earlier stages of the debate, we lobbied vigorously to retain the airport but more latterly were convinced by the views of members and the economic case, that the best long-term option for the city and region was an airport with the potential for a wider international service at Finningley. We’d of course like this to be known as Sheffield-Doncaster airport.

This region relies heavily on international trade and needs excellent connectivity with the rest of the world. This can, in truth, be best served by an international airport, an excellent road system and improvements to the Midland Main Line followed by High Speed Rail.

Consequently we have worked much more closely with our regional partners to deliver an integrated transport system. We absolutely believe this is paying dividends with the announcement of Regional Growth Fund support for the M18/Airport Link, the announcement that South Yorkshire will have a High Speed Rail station and a number of road improvements in planning or likely construction phases.

We realise how difficult it can be to lose a resource but must take a less parochial view in these modern times and support schemes which actually deliver better benefits to the businesses and population of this city.

Tim Hale, on behalf of majority of Chamber members

howard Knight (June 9) is himself talking nonsense wondering why I ‘decided not to buy (the airport) when I had the chance’. In fact, my offer to buy it unconditionally for £1m was rejected. I also financed a legal investigation into the circumstances leading to its closure, at a cost of approximately £25,000. Unlike many, I generally put my money where my mouth is.

Andrew Cook CBE, chairman, William Cook Holdings Ltd