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“KEEP VICTORIA ROAD AND BASFORD BANK OPEN!” Challenge against government plans to close key roads in Stoke-on-Trent

Written by on 15 October 2020

Conservative Councillors have submitted a motion to be voted on at Full Council next Thursday (22 October) about government plans to close Victoria Road and Basford Bank at peak hours to all traffic.

The closures are being forced upon the City Council by the government’s Air Quality Directive, which is seeking to bring emissions down along these roads.

However, Conservative Councillors Hussian and Smith have pointed out that the latest evidence is that emissions have already fallen due to the impact of COVID-19.

Cllr Hussain commented, “We need to send a signal to the government that the measures they are imposing on Stoke-on-Trent will impact businesses and everyone in the city.“

 “It will cut Newcastle-under-Lyme off from Hanley at rush hour and stop residents accessing businesses along Victoria Road and the Dewsbury Road Industrial Estate via Fenton.“

“We are asking our three Members of Parliament to get the government to postpone these plans. The government must work with the City Council to find sensible alternatives, like a car scrappage scheme, for Stoke-on-Trent.“

Councillor James Smith, who is helping propose the motion, echoed the concerns of Cllr Hussain.

“Air quality is hugely important, and so is climate change. But, rule by diktat is not the way to solve the problem.“

“Under these plans, the road closures and infrastructure needed to enforce them at the cost of £13m to the taxpayer will be removed by 2026, when emissions naturally decrease due to more electric vehicles.“

“The government should be working with the City Council to find an alternative and sustainable solution, like backing our ambitions and plans for a tram network. That is how you get people out of their cars, offering a choice, not just closing strategic roads.“

The motion will go to the vote of all 44 Councillors of the City Council on the afternoon of Thursday 2 October.