Click to save our green spaces

If you want to protect our green spaces from the A6-M60 Bypass, go to the SEMMMS Consultation and tick “strongly disagree” for Question 9 SP7 “A6 multi-modal improvements” and Question 10 Early Priorities.  Write something in the comment boxes for Questions 10 and 11 such as “Stop the A6-M60 Bypass” etc.

We have reached a crucial stage in our efforts to lift the threat of a dual carriageway between Bredbury and Hazel grove through the beautiful Lower Goyt Valley.

The Government’s Department for Transport is unhappy with both 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.)

By rights the Bypass die-hards at the Town Hall should be retreating in embarrassment. Instead Stockport Council officers are striving to keep the nightmare alive with the new SEMMMS Strategy document and the current consultation.

The Council and Cabinet voted a few months ago to go to the next stage of the Bypass supposedly just to get more information. The new SEMMMS Strategy goes beyond this – it definitely wants the Bypass.  This could increase the chances of the Council finding funding from somewhere for the next stage eventually.

The Strategy document craftily tucks away its backing for the Bypass on page 65. People (including councillors) who read only the document’s Executive Summary will assume the strategy does not involve the Bypass.

If the new SEMMMS strategy is approved by councillors, it will feed the Bypass into Greater Manchester transport plans. The Government has told the Council that if it wants a chance of getting funding, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority must make the Bypass one of its “strategic priorities”.

In the future, it’s possible that Greater Manchester may have control of all transport funding and be capable of deciding to build the Bypass itself.

By taking part in the consultation, we can help sensible councillors put a stop to all the Bypass planning and scheming.

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. The meeting’s main decision was to get many more people to reply to the Council’s SEMMMS Refresh consultation before the closing date on July 2nd. The meeting also resolved to lobby the full Council meeting on Thursday June 28th at Stockport Town Hall at 5.30pm. Our meeting said that SEMMMS must drop the Bypass and concentrate on its sustainable transport proposals.

Travellers Call meeting smaller

Cabinet questions: We asked four questions at SMBC’s Cabinet on Tuesday 12th June (see picture of our contingent on the news page). The most important was regarding the rebuff from the Department for Transport to the Council’s Bypass funding request. Rachel asked: “Following this rebuff, please would you 1. Tell councillors and the public that you have received this rebuff; 2. Stop wasting resources on transport plans that include the Bypass; and 3. Lift the threat to the Goyt and Poise Brook Valleys?” We received no direct answer to this. The Council are apparently blaming the Government for reneging on promises and intend to press on with the dodgy consultation and with future funding requests when the chance arises – so please do the online SEMMMS Consultation as above.

 

The SEMMMS ‘drop-in’ consultation final event is on Monday 25th June – New Mills:  Location Springbank Arts Centre, 4-7:30pm

The SEMMMS strategy document is here.

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 . Our third annual Bluebell Walk through the threatened valleys took place on Sunday 6th May – see picture.

Bypass and Stockport major roads

Bypass: dotted line

Stockport Council is trying to get £500,000 from the Government (or anywhere!) for the next stage of preparations for the Bypass – a small sum compared to the eventual cost of nearly £500 million.

The Government’s initial withering response was that “budgets are not unlimited”.  It pointed out that a similar bid for next-stage funding had been turned down in 2016 to avoid raising expectations that the rest of the half billion would be forthcoming.

The full Council and the Cabinet both 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 on the Council has been significant including three councillors out of eight in the subsequent Council Cabinet meeting voting against further development.

The Council’s bid for further funding relies on a Business Case published last autumn. But the Business Case 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 traffic forecasts included in the Business Case ignored the well-established phenomenon of “induced traffic”.  This term covers the many extra journeys that are generated by any new road. If induced traffic had been calculated, the forecasts for the Bypass would have been even more unimpressive than those published. The Business Case also suspiciously avoided publishing any forecasts of traffic and congestion on the Bypass itself.

Map of the Bypass route.

The route.

The Bypass would be an 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 expected 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 green Sites of Biological Importance and Priority Deciduous Woodland will suffer grievously.

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 inevitably equals more 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.

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

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

The latest 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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