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Mark Hunter

Roads in Cheadle more congested than ever before

January 29, 2008 11:09 AM
Traffic jam in Bramhall

Traffic in the local area

Figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrat Transport team in Parliament show that over the past decade the number of vehicles on roads in Greater Manchester have increased by 12%.

These figures show that congestion on local roads has gone up since Labour came to power in 1997, despite promises to reduce the number of people relying on cars to get about.

Mark Hunter, Deputy Transport spokesperson, and MP for the Cheadle Constituency said, "These figures show a worrying increase in the amount of traffic on roads right across the area. The reality of the situation is that travelling by public transport is now more expensive but relatively speaking, the cost of travelling by car has fallen.

"When Labour came to power in 1997, John Prescott, then Deputy Prime Minister, said, 'I will have failed if in five years' time there are not many more people using public transport and far fewer journeys by car. It's a tall order but I urge you to hold me to it.'

"The rise in traffic in the Cheadle and Greater Manchester area is clearly a huge failure by the Government who promised so much but have delivered more congestion, pollution and more expensive buses and trains.

"The Government needs to look seriously at how to provide better buses and trains at an affordable price before our local roads grinds to a halt.

"What is urgently needed is a package of measures including completion of the A555 Relief Road and improvements to public transport such as the Metrolink extension to Stockport. Building new roads in itself will not provide the solution, but as part of an integrated approach it is nevertheless a vital step.

"A Transport Bill is now being debated by Parliament and there are a number of plans in it that will give powers to councils to improve bus services. This is a welcome move but it is a pity that Labour have taken over a decade to get this far.

"Yet even now there is a danger that the powers to improve bus services will be watered down by the Government. I will be pressing the Government hard to make sure this doesn't happen."