Question for the election

Will the candidates for election commit to protecting Stockport’s Goyt Valley (pictured), Poise Brook Valley and the green spaces of Offerton and Hazel Grove, which are threatened by the proposed A6-M60 Bypass? Please ask any candidates, or their representatives, who come seeking your vote.

Stockport Council has failed in three applications in three years to get Government funding for the Bypass – but most, or perhaps all, of the big three parties in the borough want to keep on pushing for a future government to waste £500 million on this useless and destructive project.

At the 2015 general election, the then coalition Government sought to impress the voters with £350,000 for a “feasibility study” of the A6-M60 Bypass. This is money that has now been wasted. Sadly, some leading candidates in the borough want this to be just a taster of the huge sums to be thrown away on this road in the future.

Surely the election candidates should have learnt some lessons from the problems of the new Airport Road A555, which cost £290 million and has been closed three times in a year? The Airport Road has worsened the severe congestion and pollution  on the A6 in High Lane and Disley.

Stockport Council’s most recent funding application for the A6-M60 Bypass was turned down last August by the quango Transport for the North (TfN) on behalf of the Government. The Council was previously turned down for funding in 2018 and 2016. The Bypass is at the heart of the Council’s draft transport strategy SEMMMS Refresh, which is awaiting sign-off.

Advocates of the Bypass often attempt to sow confusion by saying they just want to obtain further information by seeking funding for a new business case.  This is just evasion and deceit. Such a business case would lead directly to construction of the Bypass. It would not include an assessment of the damage the Bypass would do to nature and green spaces. So much for their desire for information!

Our petition calling on the Council to drop the Bypass from its SEMMMS Refresh is at https://tinyurl.com/TreesNotConcrete

(SEMMMS is short for “South East Manchester Multi Modal Study/Strategy”.)

James skech 4

Goyt Hall on the edge of the Bypass route. See more Valley Art.

Beautiful valleys under threat

The A6-M60 Bypass would link the Airport Road at Hazel Grove with the M60 at Bredbury. It would do great damage to four miles of green belt along the route.

One of Stockport’s treasures, the beautiful Goyt Valley, would be ruined.  The valley brings countryside, peace and fresh air to within a mile of the town centre.

A hidden gem, the Poise Brook Valley Nature Reserve, would also be devastated, along with important green space between Offerton and Bosden Farm estates and four wildlife sites (designated Sites of Biological Importance) in Torkington.

The Bypass would bring noise and reduced air quality to areas along its route. Another consequence would be an increased risk of flooding on the flood plains of Poise Brook and the Goyt as the climate changes. By increasing use of cars and expanding traffic to Manchester Airport, the Bypass would make its own contribution to global warming (see Step off the gas!)

The Bypass would create extra traffic and cause new congestion hotspots (as happened with the M60). This is because:

  • New road schemes attract drivers to make journeys that they haven’t made before. Experts call this “induced traffic”. It clogs up many new roads
  • Some local roads will get short-term relief relief from the Bypass, but they are likely to fill up again
  • Seven junctions with traffic lights will cause tailbacks (see map) on the Bypass and surrounding roads.
  • Junctions and roads leading to the Bypass will become congested – like High Lane which is already more jammed up from the new Airport Road.
  • The new Airport Road itself will become much busier. There is already peak-hour congestion around the Airport.

Stockport needs alternatives to using the car – not more dependency on cars.

bigmap for leaflet

Bypass with traffic-light junctions.

View Councillor Sheila Bailey speaking passionately against the Bypass at the Stockport Cabinet meeting on 14th November 2017. See what the Bypass would do to Stockport’s Goyt Valley at https://goo.gl/EnCunu. Read the latest developments on our NEWS PAGE. Visit our facebook pages: www.facebook.com/GoytValleySOSandGoyt and Poise Valleys SOS. To get more involved, contact us. The first draft of the Council’s SEMMMS Refresh strategy document is here; we have a summary and critique.

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 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! 
  • The Bypass’s unbuilt predecessor, the A6(M), is responsible for dangerous  J25 junction dysfunction (article rewritten and re-illustrated).
  • Stockport Council has just completed one major road scheme. It was a year behind schedule and is 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 in 2017: We have added notes to copies of the plansThe source is the Council’s 2006 plans pages 1-9 of Appendix 1 of the Strategic Business Case (which can be magnified for detail).
  • We have a examined the first draft of SEMMMS Refresh and its road-building plans: SEMMMS Rehash.
  • The Business Case published in 2017 outrageously spun, selected and distorted information to foist an expensive and destructive road on us: see our review of the information appendices and our (lengthy) comments on the main document.

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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