£580 million white elephant strides across countryside.

A crucial decision is looming!

  • The first stage of the Feasibility Study has just been published – suggesting, among other things, a ‘high-level  bridge’ (instead of a bridge and huge cutting) spreading noise across the Stockport’s Lower Goyt Valley!

  • The brilliant campaign against building massive housing estates on the Green Belt has led Stockport Council’s leader to say the housing plans can’t go ahead in their present form. The new estates would have been used as an argument by Bypass supporters.
  • Visit our facebook pages: www.facebook.com/GoytValleySOS and Goyt and Poise Valleys SOS.
  • Contact us to get more involved.

Stockport Council could vote to move to the next stage of A6-M60 Bypass development within months. The way the decision will be taken remains unclear. Public consultation has been ruled out at this stage.  The Feasibility Study Stage 2 – soon to be published – could be the main factor in the Council’s decision despite Stage 1 being a sloppy and biased travesty. We know that most councillors are likely to support the Bypass unless we can make our voices heard now.

Bypass and Stockport major roads

Bypass: Hazel Grove to Bredbury

The Bypass would be a disaster both for Stockport’s green spaces and for the borough’s transport. The Council has for the past year been working on the Feasibility Study and Outline Business Case – needed to bid for £580 million from the Government to build the road.

A decision on whether to push ahead with planning the Bypass will follow publication of the study.  So far the Council has failed in its bid for further Government funding for preparatory work but this could be just a temporary hitch.

The first part of the Feasibility Study has just been published, including 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 traffic on to the new road. The 2017 view is different: the Stage 1 Study emphasises improved ‘connectivity’ for the major road network and for accessing Manchester Airport, including freight, from Junction 25 of the M60.

Publication of a wider report – the SEMMMS Refresh on Stockport transport, including transport for the proposed 12,000 houses on the Green Belt – has been put back to the autumn.The Bypass would be the main transport sticking-plaster for the new houses if they go ahead. Protest action may have forced at least a partial rethink.

Offerton road-building site 2024?

Offerton fields in 2024?

The bypass would be a four-and-a-half mile dual-carriageway extension of the A6-to-Manchester Airport  “relief road”, which is already under construction (the solid red route in the 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 £580 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. In the 2004 plans, junctions along the new roads were designed to be slow and traffic-signal controlled, to deter traffic from switching from the motorways. But sooner or later the slow junctions are likely to create rush-hour blockages – causing drivers to return to using other routes. Short-term improvements are likely to be achieved on some local roads such as the A6 (Hazel Grove northwards) and A627 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 Offerton Green 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.

Map of the Bypass route.

The route.

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.

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

The 2004 plans below are significantly changed in the 2006 plans (Appendices page 38 onwards). New plans expected soon will make further changes.

M60 to Goyt Valley Bypass map

Junction 25/26 to Clapgate (Goyt Valley) – Bypass plan 2004

Goyt Valley to Foggbrook Bypass map

Clapgate (Goyt Valley) to Foggbrook: Bypass plan 2004

Foggbrook to Hazel Grove Bypass map

Foggbrook, Offerton Hazel Grove: Bypass plan 2004

Stepping Link bypass map

Stepping Hill link road: Bypass plan 2004

Torkington to Simpson's Corner Bypass map

Torkington to Simpson’s Corner: Bypass plan 2004

Main sources used:

  • 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

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