Severnside Airport – The future of Britain’s regional airports?Back to Forum
Anonymous15 Mar 2013
This article has prompted some thoughts that I would like to share with you and I would be interested to hear the thoughts of the forum.
The article starts with the news about Helvetic ending their Cardiff-Zurich service in favour of their Bristol-Zurich service. It then goes on to talk about a proposed Severnside airport between Newport & Chepstow on the Severn estuary which would replace both Bristol & Cardiff airport. The airport would be a large 24 hour, 2 runway affair.
My thoughts are:
1. The proposed location is a very good one (see the map link below). It provides connections to the M4 & M5 motorways, the main Cardiff-London railway goes through the area and it would be roughly equidistant from Cardiff, Bristol & Gloucester. It is on the edge of the estuary and should not have a major noise footprint.
2. Access to Bristol & Cardiff airport by road & rail at the moment is very poor so I think the new airport would attract the existing traffic at these airports and probably lead to their closure.
3. A larger catchment area would probably attract more flights (especially long-haul) over and above those that relocate to Severnside from Bristol & Cardiff.
4. It would add a new dimension to the current debate over a new London airport. FWIW, my views on this are similar to VK’s (support for the Thames hub) but I also think regional airports need to have a higher profile in this debate. One reason why there hasn’t been enough discussion of regional airports might be because they are too small to have an impact. By developing larger regional hubs (such as Severnside), I think it would help regional development by reducing their dependence on a London hub. Obviously Manchester already fulfills a regional hub role but no other airport does in my opinion. Perhaps the Scottish government should think about building an airport between Glasgow & Edinburgh to replace the existing airports?
What do you think? Will Severnside become a reality?15 Mar 2013
Great topic Bath_VIP…….
Likely to happen……No…..The Welsh assembly will see it as a defeat to Cardiff……and will persist in trying to make Rhoose work…….after saying that, it is on the Welsh side of the border, so patriotic pragmatism might just surface !
If it does go ahead , the SE political class will not under any circumstances allow a possible competitor(long haul) to the primary project…ie London
I do recall there was talk about a mega Scottish hub located in the Falkirk area…….if I remember right the idea was dismissed because it was too far away from both city centres! and most traffic is short haul!15 Mar 2013
I don’t think Severnside would be a competitor to a new London airport. The long haul flights it attracts are much more likely to be origin/destination traffic rather than transfer traffic. At the moment, this O/D traffic probably goes to AMS or CDG with some driving to LHR. If the new London airport is the other side of London then this increases the attraction of Severnside as otherwise more people would go to AMS/BRU/CDG.
In some ways, the fact that Wales has devolution works in favour of Severnside as they can make the decision themselves (funding will be an issue). I have to say that increasingly I am in favour of creating two English parliaments, one to cover London & Home Counties and the other to cover the rest of England. The Welsh & Scots might justify devolution on the grounds that it counterbalances dominance of London but the same applies to the English regions. More and more, I see London and the adjacent Home counties on differing economic trends to the rest of England which is why I prefer a split English parliament rather than a single parliament. A split parliament like this might also allow the London parliament to make its own decision about a new airport and the other English parliament can work with the Welsh to develop Severnside.16 Mar 2013