£580 million white elephant strides across countryside.

A high-level bridge suggested!

  • The first stage of the Feasibility Study has just been published – suggesting, among other things, a high bridge (instead of a bridge and huge cutting) spreading noise across the 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 page: www.facebook.com/GoytValleySOSContact us to get more involved.

A crucial decision is looming

Stockport Council could vote to move to the next stage of 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 a 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. 

MapThe Bypass would be a disaster both for Stockport’s green spaces and for the borough’s traffic and transport. The Council has for the past year been working on a “study” which would be include an Outline Business Committee needed to bid for £580 million from the Government to build the road. A decision on whether to push ahead with the Bypass will follow publication of the study.

The first part of the study has just been published, including a significant change from what was said when the road was first put forward in its current form. In 2004 the Council’s line was that traffic switching from the motorways was bad and would be prevented – because the Bypass’s purpose was to ease pressure on local roads. The 2017 view is different: “local traffic” (definition unclear) needs to come off the M60 on to the Bypass to stop the motorway seizing up (see pages 21 and 40 of the Study).

The second part of the study will appear alongside a wider report – the SEMMMS Refresh on Stockport transport, including transport for the proposed 12,000 houses on the Green Belt. The Bypass is likely to be the main transport sticking-plaster for the new houses if they were to go ahead.  The Government would be most likely to fund the Bypass if it is linked to major developments.

People, dogs, posters crowded at roadside.Our bluebell walk in May last year was a glorious spring day for seeing the Goyt and Poise Valleys and Halliday Hill farmhouse – all of which would be ruined by the Bypass. The Lower Goyt Valley is one of the Stockport’s treasures. Putting a massive road through it would be an unbelievably stupid self-inflicted wound upon the borough. The damage the Bypass would do can be seen in the 2004 plans below. These plans may be revised, though probably not substantially.

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 red route in the map). It’s the latest in a series of new roads claimed to sort out the terrible congestion south of Manchester. The bypass would cost a huge £580 million! The result 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. Some modest short-term improvements will be achieved on some local roads 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.

Offerton road-building site 2024?

Offerton fields in 2024?

Fatal pollution Fumes from heavy and congested traffic kill up to 50,000 people a year in the UK (including both NO2 and diesel particles). More traffic equals more deadly pollution in parts of Offerton and Bredbury, 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 and views.  Explore the route to see the potential damage.

Map of the Bypass route.

The route.

Ruined countryside Peaceful fields south of Bredbury will be torn up. A 200-metre long bridge will cross the River Goyt, threatening the 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.

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:

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.