Gatwick Airport released the results of a poll this week claiming a second runway there was the ‘people’s choice’ for airport expansion in the South East.
The survey, commissioned by Gatwick Airport Ltd and carried out online by the independent polling company YouGov, gave residents a straight choice between a second runway at Gatwick and a third runway at Heathrow.
A total of 1,009 people from districts and boroughs neighbouring the Gatwick Airport were asked and 52 per cent of them supported expansion at Gatwick.
Around a third of those (333) were from Croydon, 91 from Crawley, 148 from Mid Sussex, 140 from Horsham, 86 from the Mole Valley, 132 from Reigate and Banstead and 79 from Tandridge.
People were also asked to choose between the two airports when considering the following factors: the cost to the tax-payer vs private investment; the earliest date it can be delivered; the benefits to the local economy; the number of planes that will fly across London; creating balance in the UK airport market and the spead and ease the runway can be delivered.
Of the 140 from Horsham, in each case, the majority of residents support expansion at Gatwick.
However, the airport has come under fire from opposers of airport expansion calling it a ‘phoney’ survey since only a small proportion of their respondents were from the areas directly affected, in particular the Horsham district and Crawley borough.
Therefore the County Times has launched its own survey of readers trying to replicate the airport’s questionnaire.
We would like to know if you would support expansion at Gatwick Airport or at Heathrow when taking the above factors into consideration.
Please vote in the poll to the right and leave your comments below explaining why you voted either way.
You can also email your views to the newsdesk.
A Gatwick Airport spokesman said: “The survey was carried out by YouGov according to their robust polling procedures. It would not be in YouGov’s interests to damage their professional reputation and integrity by producing results that could not be trusted. We have also been completely transparent putting the data tables in the public domain.
“The number of people polled in Horsham was weighted and so proportionally reflects Horsham’s population share across the region we surveyed as a whole. Similarly, the number of people asked in Croydon reflects Croydon’s population share across the region as a whole.
“The people were sourced from YouGov’s own panels which represent all ages, socio-economic groups and other demographic types. This means the survey results represent the broad views of the local community as a whole and include the opinions of people who, for example, might not have been motivated to respond to our consultation.”
The full result of the survey can be viewed by clicking this link.