October 13, 2022 6.00 pm This story is over 18 months old

Over 100,000 people sign ‘Save Doncaster Sheffield Airport’ petition

It gathered over 100,000 signatures

By Local Democracy Reporter

A petition to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport with over 100,000 signatures from the community has been handed in to the government’s Department for Transport by trade union members in London.

Robin Hood airport faced winding down proceedings after owners the Peel Group claimed in September that DSA was “not viable due to its lack of adequate forward revenues and high operating costs.”

A consultation period was called in July to evaluate the site’s future, after airline Wizz Air withdrew services from Doncaster Sheffield Airport and left it with just one active base carrier in the form of TUI.

The airport has been a key and convenient travelling route for holiday-goers across the Greater Lincolnshire region ever since it was opened commercially in 2005 – but the closure announcement caused chaos to people’s plans, many of which had already been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A petition was set up to try and reverse the decision and force government action to save the airport, and it has over 105,000 signatures at the time of reporting. That petition has now been presented to the Department of Transport by trade union workers at the GMB.

The petition, inside a box that read “save our airport” was showcased at the Department for Transport headquarters on Thursday. | Photo: GMB Union

Members of the GMB Union were joined outside the Department for Transport by Labour’s shadow secretary for climate change and net zero, and former party leader, Ed Miliband on Thursday – as the petition was handed in to parliament.

Sarah Barnes, GMB Organiser, said: “Sheffield Council and the mayor’s office have said they’ll provide some of the funding required to keep the airport running while a buyer is found.

“The Peel Group has turned this down, which makes absolutely no sense. Whatever the motivation is, it’s certainly not in the interests of the people of South Yorkshire.

“We need the Department of Transport to step in and make some extra cash available until the right buyer is found. The people of South Yorkshire deserve an international transport hub.”

The petition handover coincides with a meeting between GMB staff members and the shadow secretary for transport, Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh.

Louise Haigh MP said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is a strategic asset for South Yorkshire and one that we cannot afford to lose.  That’s why I have joined the workforce at the airport to demand that the government takes immediate action to secure its future.

“The Prime Minister promised to protect the airport and has the power to prevent its closure but has so far refused to lift a finger.

“It’s urgent that the government must step in, save the airport and the thousands of jobs that hang in the balance.”

The GMB Union had previously accused the government of “passing the buck” on the issue, which was denied by the Department for Transport.

A DfT spokesperson said last week: “The decision taken to close Doncaster Sheffield Airport by its owners is incredibly disappointing, not only for the passengers who use the airport, but also the businesses and staff based there.

“Since her appointment last month the Transport Secretary has met with Peel Group twice to encourage them to work with local leaders to find a solution for the site which will benefit local people and the region’s economy.”