Bypass ‘refresh’ not so fast!

Stockport Council’s new attempt to promote the A6-M60 Bypass has hit a delay. The final version of the Council’s SEMMMS Refresh transport strategy document was due to go before councillors this autumn, but last Thursday’s full Council meeting was told the timetable has changed.

Apparently the autumn date failed to take into account that the Refresh needed to respond to the transport implications of Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework, which will say where new housing should be built. Oops! Whether this is the real explanation is anyone’s guess.

The latest redraft of the GM Spatial Framework will appear in October followed by three months of discussion. SEMMMS Refresh might appear late this year or at the beginning of 2019.

The Council’s transport officers published the previous SEMMMS Refresh draft in May this year. A consultation on the strategy closed on July 16th. Whenever the final draft appears, it will continue to be a threat to our valleys, woods and fields. If the Council adopts the strategy, including support for the A6-M60 Bypass, it will become part of Greater Manchester’s transport plans.

  • Please sign our petition calling on the Council to remove the Bypass from SEMMMS Refresh. 
  • Goyt Valley SOS! has a meeting on Monday, 17th September at 7pm at the Traveller’s Call, Stockport Road West. 
bigmap for leaflet

Bypass with traffic-light junctions.

The Bypass would destroy four and a half miles of beautiful woods, valleys and fields. It would link the almost completed Airport Road at Hazel Grove with the M60 at Bredbury at a final cost of half a billion pounds. New roads generate extra traffic, so the Bypass would create traffic problems rather than solve them. Five junctions on the Bypass and two link roads would create a knot of congestion on or around Offerton (see map).

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 (ie 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 (see NEWS) 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.

The full Council voted at the end of last year to seek funding for the next stage of Bypass preparations despite a magnificent petition of 7,061 signatures opposing the Bypass. How can councillors sensibly maintain their support for further Bypass work 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.

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).

Travellers Call meeting smaller

View Councillor Sheila Bailey speaking passionately against the Bypass at the Stockport Cabinet meeting on 14th November 2017. Read the latest developments on our NEWS PAGE. Visit our facebook pages: www.facebook.com/GoytValleySOS and Goyt and Poise Valleys SOS. To get more involved, contact us . The Council’s SEMMMS Refresh strategy document is here and there’s a transport expert’s detailed response to it.

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 (new article);
  • 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 would be at risk as the Bypass approaches the A6: Losing fine countryside in Torkington (new article);
  • 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! 
  • Stockport Council is building one major road scheme already. It’s is a year behind schedule and likely to break air pollution laws: Bumpy Airport Road (new article);
  • Poison air is the biggest killer on the roads. The Bypass would make it worse (new article);
  • We have news of what’s happening; and not-so-new news.
  • 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 Council’s 2006 planspages 1-9 of Appendix 1 of the Strategic Business Case (which can be magnified for detail).
  • The Business Case published last year outrageously spun, selected and distorted information to foist an expensive and destructive road on us: see our (lengthy) comments on the main document and on its information appendices.

reprospects foggbrook junction edit

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 above  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.

Main sources used on this website:

  • Full environmental report 2003: 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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