John Knight's October 2018 Talking Politics column for Macclesfield Express.

24 October 2018

A “Tax on Recycling” - that’s what Cheshire East Council’s decision to charge for new and replacement bins amounts to.  If silver recycling bins get damaged or goes missing, cash-strapped households will be tempted to send all their rubbish to landfill in the black bin, rather than pay for a replacement.  Recycling should always be the easier, cheaper option; this charge threatens to make recycling a luxury. 

This month saw the opening of the so-called “A6 Relief Road” between High Lane, Poynton and Manchester Airport.  Touted as a means of easing traffic on local roads, in truth this has been designed to increase both road and air traffic and incidentally, to move local people’s jobs away to Airport City.  Transport professionals have known since 1925 that building bypassess simply generates more traffic, as people are encouraged to make car journeys that they wouldn’t have otherwise.  However,  Cheshire East - along with their counterparts in Stockport and Manchester - thought they knew better. 

All along, campaigners have pointed out that Disley, further up the A6, would suffer unacceptably toxic levels of pollution, resulting from the increased traffic created by this road.  Now it is open, there are already calls for a Disley bypass.  Unfortunately, geography says otherwise - Disley lies in a narrow valley, already fully occupied by the River Goyt, a canal, two main roads and three railway lines.  Is this bypass supposed to be built on stilts?  Or even more ridiculously expensive, by tunnelling for miles through the hard gritstone underneath Lyme Park? 

At the same time, another bypass is planned to bring even more traffic from the A555 through Adlington into Macclesfield. 

Transport needs a complete rethink.  Building more roads over green land and generating more and more traffic does nothing for the economy, while degrading the environment for people and wildlife.