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

30 November 2018

When we’ve gone round on our regular surveys of residents to see what issues matter to them, 70% of people have told us they are concerned about road safety. People really want safer and calmer roads, particularly the narrow residential streets in the older parts of town, where cars accelerating up to top speed are causing a real danger.

In particular, residents have told us about problems on Bond Street, Crompton Road and Great King Street - these roads are a real concern, the Council is not doing enough and is not listening.

Many councils across the North West and around the country have adopted the “Twenty’s Plenty” policy - a 20mph speed limit is now standard in residential streets across Manchester, Warrington and in towns throughout Lancashire and Cheshire West.  Our Cheshire neighbours have seen 65% fewer road traffic collisions, with a 40% reduction in the numbers killed and seriously injured and a 69% reduction in slight injuries.

However, Cheshire East Council announced earlier this year that they have no plans to introduce similar reduced-speed zones in our towns, including Macclesfield.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, a pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph is nine times more likely (45%) to be killed than at 20mph (5%).  Of course, lower speeds make accidents less likely anyway.

Therefore, we’re launching our “Safer Streets” campaign. We’re asking residents to identify the streets where there are problems; armed with this information, we will campaign vigorously to ensure that these streets have safe speed limits set on them and measures to enforce this so that residents are safe to walk on the streets where they live. Please contact me at and together we’ll get on with making our streets safer.

Regional News

National News


Greens challenge Energy Secretary after shock revelation from frackers Cuadrilla

Green Party of England and Wales co-leader Jonathan Bartley has today (21 June) sent a letter (below) to Greg Clarke MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to highlight the Party’s far-reaching concerns for the safety of the local community in the vicinity of Cuadrilla’s exploratory fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.

The letter follows a meeting between Bartley and two directors from Cuadrilla, where he put questions from the community to them. Bartley is concerned both by the lack of information about emergency plans provided to the residents and by significant questions over whether or not there is even an evacuation plan in the event of a well blow out or other accident.

Bartley said:

“We’re calling on the Secretary not to make a decision over whether to grant a licence to frack until the matter has been investigated thoroughly and safety concerns are addressed. The fact that local residents don’t even know if there’s even a proper plan in place for emergencies - let alone evacuation - is deeply concerning.

“It would be completely unacceptable and be playing fast and loose with people’s safety to ignore these issues. The Secretary of State clearly shouldn’t make a decision on whether Cuadrilla should be allowed to frack until these serious questions are answered and the concerns of local people are addressed.”

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