VERY soon flights will be possible again, allowing people to take overseas holidays.
For many, this will be very welcome but spare a thought for all those people who will be anxious about flights resuming.
They know that aircraft noise will be back after months of quiet. They should also be worried about deteriorating air quality.
These problems are not caused by the people wishing to fly, but by a combination of the UK regulatory system and the lack of concern by the whole aviation industry from plane makers through to airlines and airports.
Why is the aviation industry part of the problem? It has watched the changes made to the automotive industry but not accepted the need to change. The industry will move quickly when it has to but not before and not without being pushed.
Why is regulation a problem? Apart from the London area, regulation is delegated to local councils whereas it should be a national issue. The Government should set environmental targets on issues like noise and air quality.
These targets should be progressive and set out over a timetable to allow the aviation industry time to react.
The recent planning application by Leeds Bradford Airport is an example of the problem.
Emphasis was placed on the environmental benefits of a new terminal building, but no serious consideration given to the environmental damage caused by a proposed near doubling of flights.
The Government needs to get hold of the issue at a national level and force the industry to move with the times.
From: Eric Lewis, Castle Grove Drive, Leeds.
DURING the pandemic, people in West Yorkshire have rediscovered the simple act of walking – the oldest, cheapest and greenest transport there is. It has allowed us to stay healthy, happy and connected to those around us.
But lots of us still struggle with narrow, cluttered, uneven pavements; crossings that prioritise cars rather than people; and growing numbers of speeding vehicles.
That’s why I support Living Streets’ Manifesto for Walking – West Yorkshire. It calls for candidates in our mayoral election to pledge to end pedestrian deaths and injuries on roads, tackle air pollution, make school streets safe and make walking easier by cutting the clutter on our pavements.
It is time we redesigned our streets around people, not cars. That way we can all continue to enjoy the benefits of walking and healthier, happier communities.