Why congestion is Manchester’s achilles heel
07 April 2022
Manchester city centre is a bustling hub for commerce with thousands of individual businesses supporting tens of thousands of jobs. Add in the 60,000 or so residents, it is easy to understand why its transport infrastructure is so comprehensive and, at times, overwhelmed.
Its three mainline railway stations, the lightrail Metrolink snaking its way through the city connecting many suburbs within the ten-borough catchment, countless dozens of buses competing for road space with endless streams of cars, cyclists, pedestrians and everything in-between.
Manchester city centre population growth
With the city centre population expected to grow further in the coming years, and limited scope for new local transport infrastructure – with land values leading to continued development activity – many have pointed to congestion as being the city achillies heel.
This is a major issue for a business like ours which relies on the road network to service customers and enable our staff to travel to work. The ongoing growth of the city centre and the shift toward home deliveries is exacerbating an already difficult situation.
There’s a clear environmental impact to this which cannot be ignored, however it also has serious implications to transport and the way we conduct business in the city centre, mainly due to congestion of the roads. An increase of vans or trucks operating at once in a small space, can make it very difficult to perform their usual services, including our own waste disposal services.
Manchester versus London traffic congestion
A comparison can be made to London, which has been argued to be the most gridlocked city in the world, where on numerous occasions heavy traffic has reached a standstill, amongst which vans and trucks have been caught in the middle of. Interestingly, the world famous London Underground, which was first constructed in 1863, was built to reduce congestion within the city, and still has this purpose today, encouraging commuters to take the underground trams instead of driving through London’s streets when possible.
Manchester is in a more difficult situation as it operates in a modern way, but in a Victorian infrastructure that isn’t entirely suitable at times. This can make it incredibly difficult to manoeuvre the large trucks and equipment needed for our office clearing, secure shredding, bin collection and other commercial waste services. In addition to this we’re working to a tight deadline to ensure all of our STE Waste clients are tended to, adding more stress to ourselves as well as other businesses.
The future of business and transport in Manchester
Something needs to change if business and transport in the city centre is to continue, and given how cities are prime places that require trade and commercial waste collections it’s vital that something is done to make life easier and more efficient for waste management services operating in Manchester.