The three Members of Parliament representing Stoke-on-Trent have issued a joint statement regarding air quality directives applying to the city.
“We fully support efforts to improve air quality in Stoke-on-Trent: air pollution is a major cause of ill health in our city. But this cannot be to the detriment of local businesses, jobs and livelihoods, especially given many are currently already struggling due to Covid-19.
Collectively, as MPs representing Stoke-on-Trent, we have made very clear to Government on a number of occasions that measures to improve air quality cannot damage our local economy and risk jobs. Acceptable measures to improve air quality must also not merely move the problem elsewhere, they must improve the quality of air as a whole across North Staffordshire.
We strongly believe that the only way to improve air quality in our area is through improved public transport with better bus and rail services locally. For far too many, the inadequacies of local public transport mean people are forced into cars and for many there is no option at all.
Earlier this year we secured the respite of a deadline extension for local councils to further advance plans they have been developing with Government to address air quality. It is for local councils and Government Departments to devise measures which result in improvements, and it is vital all partners work collectively to do so.
Importantly this must also include Highways England as the A500/A50 network through North Staffordshire is a key contributor to the poor local air quality and measures to curb traffic emissions on the local road network cannot just shift the problem to the strategic road network.
We will continue to push for better proposals to be developed that see improved public transport at the forefront and can support the continued economic growth of our area.”
Jack Brereton MP – Stoke-on-Trent South
Jo Gideon MP – Stoke-on-Trent Central
Jonathan Gullis MP – Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke