Prepare for an autumn showdown

Stockport Council’s request for funding from the Government for the A6-M60 Bypass was turned down, but the town hall’s road-building obsessives won’t back down. The next big date in their campaign to build a road through the beautiful Lower Goyt Valley (pictured) comes in the Autumn.

The Council’s transport officers published a redrafted “SEMMMS Refresh” strategy document in May this year. A consultation on the strategy closed on July 16th. A final draft will now appear sometime in the autumn for a decision by councillors. If the Council adopts the strategy, including support for the Bypass, it will become part of Greater Manchester’s transport plans.

Map of the Bypass route.

The route.

In May we discovered that the Council had hidden away a letter that it received from the Government’s Department for Transport in February rejecting its request for an immediate £500,000 for further Bypass preparations.

The DfT’s letter expressed unhappiness about the overall expense of the Bypass (half a billion!) and the way Stockport Council officers went about asking for funding for it last January (- read the DfT’s letter and our commentary). But the letter provided a grain of hope for the Council’s leaders and officers by suggesting that they should try to get Andy Burnham to make the Bypass a priority for Government funding for Greater Manchester. SEMMMS Refresh is the Council’s way of doing that.

Goyt Valley SOS! will be lobbying councillors to persuade them to reject the road-building proposals in SEMMMS Refresh. As well as the A6-M60 Bypass, SEMMMS Refresh proposes a High Lane/Disley Bypass and, in the future, widening some parts of the A6-Airport Road, even though the road is not yet finished! SEMMMS Refresh also includes widening of the A555/A34 roundabout which would put vehicles from the Airport Road on to the already illegally polluted A34.

In the past a big majority of councillors have favoured continuing preparations for building the Bypass, but how can they sensibly maintain this view when the Government has scorned the Council’s funding application? Continuing to put the Bypass at the centre of SEMMMS Refresh makes the Council’s strategy a lop-sided, unrealistic promotion of outdated 1970s road-building-addicted transport.

The full Council and the Cabinet voted at the end of last year to seek funding for the next stage despite a magnificent petition of 7,061 signatures opposing the Bypass. Opposition to the Bypass on the Council has been significant including three out of eight in the members of the Council Cabinet voting against further development.

The Bypass would be an extension of the A6-to-Manchester Airport  “relief road”, which is already under construction. The Council has struggled to manage the project which is running a year late. Don’t let them loose on the Goyt Valley and the beautiful green spaces of Offerton and Torkington.

Goyt Valley SOS! at the Travellers Call: The back room of the Travellers’ Call was full to more than bursting for the Goyt Valley SOS! meeting on Tuesday evening 19th June (picture below). The meeting’s main decision was to get many more people to reply to the Council’s SEMMMS Refresh consultation.

Travellers Call meeting smaller

Read new articles on air pollution in Stockport , the much delayed Airport Road and exploring the route. View Councillor Sheila Bailey speaking passionately against the Bypass at the Stockport Cabinet meeting on 14th November. Visit our facebook pages: www.facebook.com/GoytValleySOS and Goyt and Poise Valleys SOS. See Bypass plans (from 2006 – the latest). To get more involved, contact us . Read the latest developments on our news page. The SEMMMS Refresh strategy document is here.

The main contents of this website are:

  • The A6-M60 Bypass would devastate the wonderful Lower Goyt Valley – which should be one of Stockport’s treasures. The valley brings countryside to within a mile of the town centre. Lower Bredbury and ancient Crookilley Woods would also suffer.  Explore the route from Bredbury
  • Another beautiful valley would be severely damaged. It’s a nature reserve and a site of unique geology: Magic in the woods at Poise Brook
  • The Offerton estate, Bosden Farm and the top of Hazel Grove would lose their shield against urban noise and pollution: Precious green spaces from Foggbrook to Torkington;  
  • Fields and woods including four sites of biological importance are at risk as the Bypass approaches the A6: Skirting fine countryside in Torkington.
  • Schools and major roads should not go together, but they would do with the Bypass: Seven schools next to the route
  • The Bypass will not solve Stockport’s traffic problems. It is a plan for trying to deal with the problems of  too much car dependency by creating even more: The Bypass won’t work! 
  • In 2003 council bosses noticed a problem with the Bypass plan – it’s still there!  Why the Bypass will jam up
  • Stockport Council has shown itself unable to cope with the large-scale road scheme that it is already building, a year behind schedule: Bumpy Airport Road
  • Poison air is the biggest killer on the roads. The Bypass would make it worse.
  • We have news of what’s happening.
  • The Business Case published last year outrageously spun, selected and distorted information to foist an expensive and destructive road on us: Bypass fog

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. The illustration below  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. See all of James’ model.reprospects foggbrook junction edit

The latest Bypass plans are from 2006 –  but only published last year: We have added notes to copies of the plans.  The source is the 2006 plans    pages 1-9 of Appendix 1 of the Strategic Business Case (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
  • SMBC’s Strategic Outline Busines Case for the 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.

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