I am sure we are all pleased to hear from Southend Airport director Alistair Welch the vast majority of local residents are all for the expansion of the airport!

Really? He goes on to say how we only need to look at Southampton and Blackpool to see how such expansion of their airports has been great for the towns.

However, one major factor is omitted – that old issue of access, or the more boring word of infrastructure.

Southampton Airport has the M27 going past the end of the runway and is under one minute from the M3, giving fast, efficient access.

At Blackpool, aircraft approach the runway over water, it is under nine minutes to the M55, which in turn links to the M6. That nine-minute journey is via a superior A5230.

Access to Southend Airport is via the A1159 (Manners Way to locals) with its greatly improved Cuckoo Corner! Or you could, of course, take Rochford Road as a scenic alternative.

Then there is the A127, a sub-rate A road linking to the M25 in, let’s say, 35 minutes on a good day, but I am not sure when we last had one of those on the A127.

I am sure that in a couple of weeks the leaders of this town will be pleased to make their decision on the airport, which for the more cynical of us, think they have already shared with Mr Welch.

Why else would his company waste millions of pounds on a railway station and a control tower if it was unsure of a decision?

Oh, and let us not forget that railway. I am sure it will only be a matter of time before Stobart Group applies to have a siding off the main line to give access to a freight depot at the airport.

You doubt? Let’s just wait and see!

Finally, a word of caution to our leaders. If they think they will be able to control this new-found bed partner once they have given it the green light, they should think again!

The company is much bigger than them.

Colin Law

...Tony Halls (Jan 1) missed the point of my previous letter on Southend Airport. The point was that I am not a “stooge”, as another correspondent claimed.

If I wish to have a vote on the planning decision on the airport extension, then I am precluded from saying which way I will vote.

Mr Halls assumes he knows what the majority of my voters think. He is not privy to my mail box. He also does not know where the largest section of my ward lies.

I am prepared to tell my residents as to how I voted and why. They will know this before the election so can make their own decision on my actions.

This I consider to be “standing up and being counted”, not spineless.

Mike Grimwade
Lib Dem, Prittlewell Ward
Eastwood Old Road