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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Have Your Say on Safer Streets for Tameside

Friday, 05 June 2020

Since the lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic began almost 11 weeks ago, it has become increasingly clear that things will not go back to the way they were before. Until a vaccine or some other permanent treatment for the virus is found, we will have to continue to take measures to protect ourselves and others by changing the ways we live, work and travel.

As strange as it may sound, one of the silver linings of the lockdown is that it has helped to show us that some of these changes may also have other positive effects. Nowhere is this truer than in how we get around our city region. Over the past few months traffic volumes across Greater Manchester have dropped by 60%. While much of this can be accounted for by people being furloughed or working from home, the data also shows that many have chosen other methods of getting to where they need to be. Walking now accounts for 33% of all journeys taken, and levels of cycling have gone up 22% compared to before the lockdown. The effects of this have been dramatic. Congestion, once the scourge of our roads, has been has almost eliminated, and routine monitoring has shown a drop in air pollution levels that would have otherwise been impossible.

The challenge now will be to keep as many of these benefits as possible once we emerge from lockdown. We know from the work we’ve done to encourage cycling and walking over the past few years that many people would choose these over taking the car if it was easier to do so, and the need for continued social distancing in the foreseeable future means that we need to think about how we can change our urban environment to help people stay safe during essential journeys and exercise.

That’s why; to kill two birds with one stone, Greater Manchester has launched the #SafeStreetsSaveLives campaign. Working alongside the Mayor, TfGM and the nine other local authorities in the city region, we’re looking to create a range of measures to support coronavirus-safe and environmentally sustainable travel. This is particularly important in Tameside as almost a third of our residents do not own a car, and public transport capacity is likely to be significantly reduced to comply with social distancing requirements. Some of our proposals for the borough include “key worker corridors” with areas zoned off for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as opening up more pavement space by removing “pinch points” and non-essential street clutter like guard rails. Other plans we’re considering include “access only” quiet streets where children can play and adults can exercise without having to worry about through traffic, upgrading existing cycling lanes, creating temporary crossings and introducing traffic calming schemes.


Due to the fast pace of the current situation and the demands from government, most of these changes will be implemented at first as quickly as possible on a temporary basis. However we want to go much further than this, so we’re asking residents to have their say on whether they’d like some of these temporary solutions to be made permanent, as well as if they’d support more long-term changes to encourage cycling and walking in Tameside. You can fill out the survey and look at more detailed information about the measures we’re proposing on the council’s website here.

The consultation will run until 5pm on 2 July, and all the feedback we receive will be reviewed and considered as part of our plans. By taking part you will not only be helping us keep Tameside safe from coronavirus, but you’ll also be playing a role in deciding what life after the pandemic will look like for us all. Despite everything we’ve been through over the past few months, I still believe that a better future is possible. Let’s work together to make it happen.   


Posted by: Executive Leader

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