Goyt Valley SOS! presented a magnificently supported 7,000-signature petition to Stockport’s full Council meeting last Thursday, 30th November (see picture).  This did not  stop the Council voting by 41 votes to 14 to endorse a shocking report from officials that aims for construction of the A6-M60 Bypass to start in 2024, with most of the vital decisions to be taken over the next six months.

We can still stop it  if we put our hearts into it. The Council is far from united over this with even some of those who voted for the plan not really supporting it. But if we pause now, the Council bulldozer will roll over us and our green spaces.

The Council officials’ plan proceeds at breakneck speed: DECEMBER 2017 ask DfT (the Government’s Department for Transport) for £500,000 to complete business cases, a smaller sum than first suggested; JANUARY 2018 DfT says Yes; FEB-MARCH 2018 “public consultation”; FEB-MAY 2018 a bit more traffic modelling etc; JUNE 2018 Council Cabinet decides (whether) to submit completed Business Case to DfT with request for c£470 million; AUTUMN 2018 Government says Yes; AUTUMN 2018 onwards: develop scheme (ie after it has been approved!), Environmental Impact Assessment, Council’s Planning Application to itself; “2024? Final review by DfT to confirm construction”.

The Council meeting’s decision has to be ratified by the Council’s Cabinet on December 19th where we will again challenge this disastrous plan.

Save our beautiful green spaces!

After Stockport Council’s vote to move to the next stage of A6-M60 Bypass development this month, we have six months to stop this disaster for our wonderful valleys and green spaces.

Bypass and Stockport major roads

Bypass: dotted line

The Council recently published a Strategic Outline Business Case – needed to bid for further money from the Government.  It shows that, contrary to popular myth, the Bypass would produce vanishingly small time savings on local roads in exchange for the destruction of green belt.

The Business Case and the Feasibility Study published earlier this year included a big change from when the road was first put forward in its current form. In 2004 the Council’s emphasis was on a ‘local bypass’ mainly to move some of Stockport’s existing through traffic on to the new road. The 2017 view is different: it includes improved ‘connectivity’ for the major road network and for accessing Manchester Airport, including freight, from Junction 25 of the M60.

Map of the Bypass route.

The route.

The bypass would be a five-mile dual-carriageway extension of the A6-to-Manchester Airport  “relief road”, which is already under construction (the solid red route in the top map; the Bypass is the broken red line). It’s the latest in a series of new roads claimed to sort out the terrible congestion south of Manchester. The result of the £500 million road might not be what people imagine….

More traffic problems The combined bypass and relief road will draw in drivers from the M56, A34, M60 and A6. The volume of traffic is likely to create rush-hour blockages – causing local drivers to return to using other routes. Short-term reductions in traffic are likely to be achieved on some local roads such as the A6 (Hazel Grove northwards though not around Bramhall Moor Lane/Sainsbury’s) and A627 (though not around the Offerton Road Bypass junction) but in the longer term the bypass could end up a horrendously costly and damaging failure (read more). The jams caused by the M60 in Bredbury demonstrate the unintended consequences that new roads can create. We have 15 ways that the bypass will be bad for drivers.

Ruined countryside Peaceful fields south of Bredbury will be torn up. A 200-metre long bridge, or a much longer high-level bridge, will cross the River Goyt, threatening the wonderful Lower Goyt Valley’s beauty and wildlife.  Ancient Poise Brook valley wood will be severely damaged. The green buffer between Offerton and Bosden Farm Estates will be overwhelmed. Torkington’s countryside will suffer.The damage the Bypass would do can be seen in the 2004 plans below. These plans may be revised, and not necessarily for the better!

Fatal pollution Fumes from heavy and congested traffic contribute to the deaths of up to 50,000 people a year in the UK (including both NO2 and diesel particles). See our report. More traffic equals more deadly pollution overall, despite claims that a new road will make things better.

Damaged lives The dual-carriageway route runs right up against some homes in Bredbury, Foggbrook and Torkington. When it curves through Offerton and Bosden Farm Estates, the nearest homes will be only a stone’s throw away. Residents will suffer intrusive noise. Peaceful green views and fresh unpolluted air will be lost.  Explore the route to see the potential damage.

Lost heritage At Foggbrook the bypass flattens old mill cottages and shaves Halliday Hill Farm – the ancient home of the Dodge family. Just out of Bredbury, close to Tudor Goyt Hall the bypass ploughs through a possible pre-Roman site not yet investigated by archaeologists.


reprospects foggbrook junction 2 smlr

Architect James Dyson has modelled the northern part of the A6-M60 route to show that the land bulldozed would be greater than the official plan shows. This is his view of the junction next to Dial park School. The yellow areas show cuttings and earthworks according to the plan; the dark green areas are further areas of  land that will need to be taken. The white area has not been modelled. See more of James’ model. See it all.

Read more about what would be lost to the road and the damage that it would inflict:

The latest plans are from 2006 –  but only published this year: We have added notes to copies of the plans.  The source is the 2006 plans  on page 38 onwards of the Stage 1 Feasibility Study Appendices (which can be magnified for detail).

Main sources used on this website:

  • Full environmental report: SEMMMS Major Road Schemes Stage 2 Environmental Assessment (available from Stockport MBC)
  • The route, including both M60 to A6 and A6 to M56: South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy, Annex E, Appraisal of SEMMMS New Relief Road July 2004 (available from Stockport MBC)
  • A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road Transport Assessment Main Text October 2013 http://a6marr.stockport.gov.uk/746597/760095/760276
  • Stockport MBC’s strategy: “SEMMMS new relief road scheme – results and conclusions of initial assessment” October 31, 2003 (can be found by search engines)
  • Department for Transport’s Note DFTQ9 – Forecast Usage of the Proposed SEMMMS Relief Road (Freedom of Information request) 2004
  • SMBC’s Stage 1 Feasibility Study A6-M60 Relief Road

Contact our website group to tell us what you think, or to ask to be kept informed or to become more involved.