Agenda item


To receive a report from the Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change.


The Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change introduced the report that had been circulated with the agenda. The Committee were informed that Trafford had been committed to increasing the levels of active travel for a number of years and the outbreak of COVID 19 had led to an acceleration of that process. All of the changes and funding received in response to COVID 19 had to be considered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) prior to coming to Trafford and so the Council had not been able to achieve as much as they would have liked.  There had been mixed responses from residents for a number the measures implemented, which was expected as implementation would usually involve a longer process with more communication and engagement with residents.


The Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change addressed the issues of paths being blocked by vehicles across the borough but noted that there other issues of obstruction of paths which would be taken into account when developing a strategy to improve access.  The Committee were assured that the Council was fully committed to the Mayor’s Challenge fund which looked to create cycling routes linked across all of Greater Manchester. The Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change informed the Committee that the plans for Urmston would be a trial of the active neighbourhood model with a view to expanding that model across other areas of the Borough.


Following the introduction Board Members were given the opportunity to ask questions. Councillor Coggins welcomed the progress that had been made across the borough in the last few months and noted that keeping active and reducing weight were two ways people could combat COVID and active transport was a way that the Council could look to encourage that. Councillor Coggins asked whether the Communications around active transport could be changed to express what they added to the Community rather than what they took away. These means of transport had been successful in areas where extensive engagement exercises had been conducted and Councillor Coggins asked if there were any plans to do this in Trafford. The Executive Member responded that the timeline for the work was out of the Council’s control which had reduced the opportunity for consultation with residents and was something that the Council was working on improving. 


Councillor Coggins then asked a range of further questions relating to the report. The Chair stated that rather than receiving answers for each of the questions during the meeting the points raised by Councillor Coggins and other Members of the Committee would form a report to go to the Executive to receive a full response.  The Vice Chair welcomed the Chairs suggestion and hoped that the Committee would capture the wider picture within the report and that engagement with businesses and residents within the community would play a large part in any recommendations made to the Executive.


Councillor Blackburn asked how the safety of moving traffic had been assessed since the addition of the additional cycle lanes. The Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change responded that the safety of the roads and cycle lanes was monitored on a regular basis by TfGM who aided Trafford in moving forward with the schemes and notified Trafford if any black spots were identified.


The Director of Public Health stated that active travel was one of the best things that could be done to improve people’s health and wellbeing within the area. There were direct health benefits through increased activity but also benefits from improved air quality, due to reduced pollution which also aided in combating global warming. The Director of Public Health agreed that there needed to be lots of communication and engagement with residents to ensure that the measures put in place were suitable, but there was a real need to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. COVID 19 had put this into perspective as the evidence showed the impact poor air quality had in exacerbating the effects of the virus. The areas where active transport had been successful had shown that many of the concerns business did not come to fruition and local spending actually increased when people used active transport. In order for the borough to meet its carbon reduction targets there was going to have to be a reduction in the number of petrol and diesel vehicles on the road soon and the Council needed to act. It was important that the messaging around these changes was positive and supportive as some people would undoubtedly find the changes difficult.


The Corporate Director of Place asked that Councillor Coggins send her questions to him directly to receive a full written response in addition to the report going to the executive. The Corporate Director of Place highlighted that the work that had been done in Urmston was an example of work the Council wanted to do where possible. The report mentioned the Council were in the process of creating an active travel strategy for the borough which involved officers from across the Council and highlighted the commitment to active travel. The Corporate Director of Place noted the importance of communications and informed the Committee some of the work was already ongoing both with residents and local businesses.



1)    That the report be noted.

2)    That the Committee submit a report on active transport to the Executive.

3)    That Councillor Coggins is to submit questions to the Corporate Director of Place to receive a full written response.

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