Manchester's transport – campaigners lead debate

17th September 2007
news
release

Photo Opportunity : The panel will be available for photos at 6.45pm at the Friends Meeting House on Mount Street.

All are invited to a public meeting on Thursday 20th September at 7pm in the Friends Meeting House. Prominent figures will lead a debate on the vital, and often controversial issue, of improving Manchester’s transport and tackling climate change.

The four-strong panel will address the question ‘How can Manchester’s transport reduce its emissions?’

The debate follows the lively discussions on the Transport Innovation Fund, including the Congestion Charge, earlier this year, and takes place during European Mobility Week [1]. Vital questions about the environment and, in particular, climate change, were not prominent during these discussions.

Given transport’s contribution to climate change, campaigners believe they should have been. The public meeting will make an invaluable contribution to ongoing discussions about how Manchester is going to address its transport problems and play its part in addressing climate change.

The event is organised by Manchester Friends of the Earth [2], the Campaign Against Climate Change and Manchester Green Party. The panel includes John Whitelegg from the Transport Research Unit; Richard Armitage, a specialist in sustainable transport; Chris Smart from the RMT; and Jason Torrance from the national group Campaign for Better Transport (formerly Transport 2000).

Dr Graeme Sherriff, Transport Campaigner with Manchester FoE said:

“Road transport accounts for a fifth of the UK’s transport emissions, and this is rapidly rising. We need to take action now to promote less polluting ways of getting around and this needs to happen in Manchester, the North West and the country as a whole.”

Ewa Barker, of Greater Manchester Campaign against Climate Change said:

“The Government urges us to cut emissions, but plans to expand roads and runways, with just the opposite effect. Will the Transport Innovation Fund give us cheap, clean, comfortable, frequent, public transport to entice us out of our cars and a future to look forward to?”

Brian Candeland, Chair of Manchester Green Party, added:

“We cannot continue with business as usual, for reasons of both climate impact and congestion. We must review how we structure our city and give priority to more sustainable modes of transport. This must include better provision for walking and cycling as well as public transport.”

For comment and more information, please contact Graeme Sherriff on 07948 405071.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] http://www.mobilityweek-europe.org/-Mobility-Week-2007-

[2] Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on its website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk.

Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a network of over 220 local Friends of the Earth groups (further information can be found at www.foe.co.uk).