Black Country MP and former Transport Minister John Spellar today attacked the Government over ‘anti-car’ measures.
In Parliament, Spellar claimed the Government was using the cover of the Coronavirus pandemic to push through road-blocking measures – giving the examples of Tollhouse Way in Smethwick and Park Lane in London creating ‘traffic jams, longer journey times and increasing pollution’.
He called on the Secretary of State for Transport to ‘to get a grip on this situation and get our roads moving again’.
John Spellar: Thank you Mr Speaker. Under the cover of COVID, the Transport Department has been pushing councils to bypass normal procedures to rush in anti-car roadblocking measures. Two prime examples are on the dual carriageway in Smethwick – Tollhouse Way, and in London on the route to the M40 – Park Lane. These are creating traffic jams, longer journey times and increasing pollution. When is the Secretary of State going to get a grip on this situation and get our roads moving again?
Minister Rachel Maclean: Well the Rt. Hon. Gentleman is right to highlight our focus on encouraging active travel through a huge investment in cycling and walking which has been welcomed by communities up and down the country. However, we are aware of some schemes – such as the ones he highlighted – where better consultation with local communities and businesses would have resulted in better schemes. So we do take the opportunity to remind local communities to consult fully before implementing them.