Thursday, 18 October 2007

Slowest in Europe!

I don't want to turn this into a transport site but thought it was worth adding something to my last post on the basis of a survey published by road analysis website which shows that Greater Manchester has the 4th most slow moving roads in Europe !

And some people , presumably with ostrich like tendencies , still argue that we should do nothing to tackle congestion !

Sunday, 14 October 2007


Well bicycles do have a part to play in a 21st century transport system and I intend to continue using mine as much as I can on trips to and from the Town Hall . But if the economy of Manchester is to thrive we will need a lot more than a few bikes . The city needs massive investment in public transport - buses,trains and trams,park-and-ride,it needs first-class facilities for passengers, and it needs all of this to be joined up with integrated timetables and ticketing, and fares need to be affordable. We also need to control the amount of traffic on the roads. Congestion is bad for our health and it costs our economy billions. That's why the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester have submitted a bold plan to government that if successful could see between £2.5 and £3 billion invested in transport for Manchester and put the brakes on congestion. Like any bold plan there are opponents who have now even resorted to saying that I don't understand the needs of motorists because I don't drive . Well I might ride a bike, and I do regularly use buses,trains and metrolink, but I can also be seen regularly driving around the city. I'm not anti-car, just anti sitting in traffic jams.

Monday, 1 October 2007

A day at the seaside

Two days actually, at this year's Labour Party conference in Bournemouth - not a patch on Manchester last year and most delegates I spoke to are really looking forward to the conference coming back to Manchester next year. I went down to Bournemouth for two days for several reasons. Firstly, it was an opportunity to promote Manchester. I spoke at three fringe meetings, including the Core Cities meeting where I'm shown in the picture alongside Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Salford M.P. Hazel Blears. Secondly it is an opportunity to put policy proposals forward, and thirdly it is an opportunity to talk directly to ministers and their advisers about the things that are most important to Manchester people. In two days I met with dozens of influential people including at least 8 cabinet ministers about what our city needs - all of them short meetings that otherwise could have each taken weeks to set up and would have each involved a trip to London. Two days well spent from a council point of view but didn't see much of the sea !