The Green Party candidate for Salford and Eccles, Bryan Blears, has suggested that businesses should offer days for employees to work from home, in an attempt to reduce pollution in Greater Manchester, as well as easing the pressure on the public transport system.
Blears, who was recently elected as the Green Party candidate, believes that this scheme can be the answer to the transport problems, which are currently rife in the city, as well as benefiting businesses.
“If just 10% of [the approximately 94,000 full time workers in Salford] were to be offered one day a week working from home, we could eliminate the need for approximately 865,000 journeys a year across the city.
“That will not only make commuting easier and improve air quality but also alleviate the pressure on our public transport system.”
Salford was recently ranked as one of the worst places in Western Europe for air pollution and Blears wants to see local businesses do more to deal with the problem.
“Incentivising local businesses to ease the pressure on our transport system, either through financial incentives or by joint working with the NHS, could contribute millions of pounds to our economy through reducing time off due to stress and ill health.”
Is there a reason foe today’s horrendous traffic?! #Manchester
— Natasha Akhtar (@Natasha_Akhtar) January 15, 2019
I love how the admin at Manchester care more about people airdropping pictures/videos to students/teachers more than the traffic issue that can cause injuries??♀️ @ccpsinfo
— Madison? (@madison_koogler) January 19, 2019
Manchester traffic is horrendous
— Tab (@Tab_177) January 21, 2019
Despite this, Blears acknowledges that certain jobs are easier to do at home than others.
“In jobs such as finance, administration and support services, there is no reason why people should always be based in their offices. If half of the people working in these sectors in Salford were given one day a week at home, this could eliminate 1.4 million journeys a year.”
Businesses could also benefit from these more flexible working schemes, as people working from home can reduce the running costs, as businesses could locate to smaller offices.
“Businesses are feeling the squeeze of Brexit and the last decade of austerity. These proposals could help them to save money and improve the morale of their employees, as well as contributing to making Greater Manchester a more attractive place to live and work.”
Blears believes that Greater Manchester needs to start doing things differently.
“Our transport infrastructure can’t cope with increasing demand forever. We need to start thinking beyond a 9-5 system and look at how we can work smarter instead of getting stuck in the same traffic day after day.”
With England’s population set to grow by around 3 million in the next decade, cities, such as Manchester are going to face increased pressure on the roads and public transport services with the added problem of budgetary cuts and the inability to upgrade the infrastructure due to space and financial restrictions.
— Salford Now (@SalfordNow) January 15, 2019
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