Help put a stop to airport madness

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Anyone setting out to create an enterprise zone from scratch, starting with a blank sheet of paper, would give their right arm to place a regional airport at its very centre.

Anyone having any vision for growth would grasp that opportunity: it would be a ‘gift from heaven’ to have the option.

Yet here in Sheffield we have an enterprise zone taking shape, with a ready-made airport at its very centre.

And what do they want to do? Bulldoze it into the ground. This would be the most injudicious act of gross stupidity since Nero picked up his fiddle.

If councillors allow it to happen, the business community will have every right to believe that the lunatics have not only taken over the asylum, but are tearing it apart brick by brick.

Leeds/Bradford airport has announced a four- times-a-day service to London Heathrow. There are 190 weekly Heathrow slots reserved for the Manchester shuttle.

These statistics are a direct indication of the UK’s northern ‘trade routes’, and Sheffield – the Cinderella of the North – does not feature anywhere.

Without a regional airport in Sheffield, we relegate the city to the third division of European status and the local economy will be condemned to slow asphyxiation.

Why are the people of Exeter, Newquay, Inverness, Bournemouth, Southend, Blackpool, Coventry, Gloucester, Carlisle and Hull so conscious of the potential a regional airport brings whilst our great city fails to respond to an opportunity staring it in the face?

I have signed a petition, initiated by the Federation of Small Businesses, which calls upon Sheffield City Council to “urgently ensure that any redevelopment of the site of the former Sheffield City Airport (including further destruction of its infrastructure) is proscribed until an independent public enquiry is held to look into the potential for its future use as a facility for commercial aviation”.

Please sign the petition and help us put a stop to this madness:

Neville Martin, Castledine Gardens, Sheffield S9