I am extremely happy to be able to report back to you on something I have been working on for some time. It is very good news for the Longdendale Valley.
You may be aware that next year the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone will begin (provisionally in May). These zones are a requirement from national government and do not affect domestic cars, but HGVs, taxis, buses etc that do not hit the clean air standard will face a charge.
However, the Government have excluded national roads run by Highways England (HE) from this. In most places this means the motorway network, but in our area Market Street, Mottram Moor and Hyde Road are also all trunk roads run by HE.
This meant we faced a terrible position where additional HGVs might have chosen to come through Mottram and Hollingworth in order to avoid the clean air zone charges. Instead of reducing our traffic problem, it would have got worse. There would have been a huge incentive for traffic to stay on these particular roads, as any deviation onto local roads would have triggered the zone.
But, after some brilliant work by Tameside Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and a summit meeting with myself, my neighbouring MP for High Peak and the Transport Minister Rachel Maclean MP, we have received excellent news: the trunk roads in Mottram and Hollingworth will be included in the Clean Air Zone. I am told this is to be the only deviation of its kind in the country.
Instead of a very bad outcome, we now have a very good one. This will be the one of the biggest improvements in local air quality in Hollingworth and Mottram we have ever seen.
Combined with the Bypass being built around Mottram, we are looking at a huge improvement in quality of life for people in these villages. As someone who has lived on both Mottram Moor and Broadbottom Road I understand the difference this will make.
I would like thank Cllr. Brenda Warrington, Leader of Tameside Council and Cllr. Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council who has led on this at a GM-level for their unstinting support in this matter. I would also like to thank the Transport Minister for listening to and engaging with us in order to sort this out.
I understand Greater Manchester has also been able to negotiate additional financial support from the Government for the grants and incentives needed to help people update their vehicles – more excellent work.