Bristol Airport expansion: Campaigners block roads during protest

Campaigners marched through central Bristol in protest at the planned expansion of the city's airport. Credit: BPM Media

Climate protesters have marched through Bristol against the planned expansion of Bristol Airport.

Protesters say they wanted to draw attention to the increased emissions from the airport as it expands to accommodation more passengers.

The airport's expansion was approved in February after it won its appeal against North Somerset Council's decision to refuse planning permission.

Today's (March 25) protest was organised by Bristol Youth Strike for Climate.

The airport's expansion was approved in February 2022. Credit: BPM Media

Activist Torin Menzies, 17, said: "For the sake of our communities and our futures, Bristol Airport's expansion cannot be allowed to go ahead.

"We need to rapidly decarbonise to fight the climate crisis, not emitting more than ever before.

"Bristol Airport's expansion will further worsen the lives of those living near it through air and noise pollution, whilst emitting an extra million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually.

"As young people, it is our futures which are the most at risk here - that is why we are calling for everyone to stand behind us and oppose Airport expansion."

Bristol Airport is now able to expand after it won its appeal against North Somerset Council's decision to refuse planning permission.

The planning inspectorate's decision has been hailed "excellent news" for the region's economy by the airport, while it was described as "devastating" by opponents.

It will see Bristol Airport's capacity increase from 10 million passengers to 12 million passengers a year. The airport says it will also create around 800 new jobs.

As part of the plans, the terminal will be made bigger and a multi-storey car park will be built to hold as many as 2,500 cars. The airport also plans to improve bus routes.

Bristol Airport's expansion was approved in February. Credit: Bristol Airport

A spokesperson from Bristol Airport said the decision followed consultation with local communities and stakeholders.

"We have listened to local views and accept the challenge of climate change and have made significant changes to our business, which includes solar power, renewable energy and many more initiatives," the spokesperson said.

"We achieved carbon neutrality status in 2021 and commit to net zero airport operations by 2030. 

“Developing Bristol Airport in a sustainable way will enable more people from the South West to ‘fly local’, reducing the number of road journeys to and from London airports - numbering 8 million a year pre-pandemic.

"The development of Bristol Airport will ensure we can continue to fulfil the vital role of being an international gateway to the region, delivering jobs, tourism and investment which all contributes to the region’s economy.”