Executive Leader Cllr Kieran Quinn

Kieran Quinn's Blog  

Councillor Kieran Quinn

Have your say on traffic congestion

Friday, 29 September 2017

Cast your mind back to December 2008. It was a time when the first iPhones were only a year old, Alexandra Burke won the fifth series of the X-Factor and Benjamin Button was riding high at the box office. OK, I’ll admit that I had to look those things up, but the point is it feels like quite a while ago!

The reason I’m talking about December 2008 is because it was also the time of the Greater Manchester Congestion Charge Referendum. The referendum balloted all eligible voters in Greater Manchester on proposals to introduce a congestion charge in the region and provide £3 billion of investment in the local public transport infrastructure. The proposals were resoundingly rejected, the congestion charge was shelved and only some of the investment was implemented, mainly to improve the Metrolink Network.

Almost 10 years on and congestion is back on the agenda. Whilst the idea of a charge has gone away, and has been ruled out completely by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, the congestion problem that the 2008 proposals were seeking to solve has not. That’s why the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has launched a survey to seek your views on how to tackle the issue.

A major issue it is too. Through delaying deliveries and making people late for work the issue of congestion costs the economy of Greater Manchester an estimated £1.3 billion annually. To put that in to context that money could build 4 new hospitals or 65 new schools!  High volumes of traffic standing still on congested roads also lead to high concentrations of dangerous emissions that cause a range of illnesses.

And so you can see that it is important that we come up with a plan to tackle this issue. As always, the best and most effective plans are those that have the largest possible buy-in from those that they affect. That’s why TfGM have launched a survey; to engage those who have direct experience of congestion in drawing up the plans to tackle it. I would encourage all readers to complete the survey by visiting www.tfgm.com/congestion. Together we will beat congestion and get Greater Manchester moving again.

Posted by: Kieran Quinn

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