Rabbits in the headlights

Headlines
  • We tracked the Bypass through Offerton on Sunday 13th August.
  • Publication of the Business Case for the A6-M60 Bypass has been put back to September 14th. Why the four-month delay? See the news page.
  • SMBC is holding a “SEMMMS Refresh” discussion about transport improvements promised 15 years ago alongside road-building. Will the improvements now be promised all over again?
  • Our Poise Brook Valley Day took place on Sunday 9th July. Our Bluebell Walk was on May 8.  In both events we enjoyed the beautiful Lower Goyt and Poise Brook Valleys under blue skies. See the news page.
  • The first stage of the Feasibility Study was published in January – suggesting, among other things, a ‘high-level  bridge’  (or viaduct) spreading noise across Stockport’s Lower Goyt Valley!
  • Sign our petition!
  • Visit our facebook pages: www.facebook.com/GoytValleySOS and Goyt and Poise Valleys SOS. To get more involved, contact us

Save our beautiful green spaces!

Stockport Council could vote to move to the next stage of A6-M60 Bypass development within months. The way the decision will be taken remains unclear. The Business Case (Feasibility Study Stage 2_ – soon to be published – could be the main factor in the Council’s decision despite Stage 1 being a sloppy travesty.

Bypass and Stockport major roads

Bypass: dotted line

The Bypass would be a disaster for Stockport’s green spaces and for traffic. The Council has for the past year been working on the Feasibility Study and Outline Business Case – needed to bid for £580 million from the Government to build the road.

So far the Council has failed in its bid for further Government funding for preparatory work but this could be a temporary hitch before completion of the Business Case.

The first part of the Feasibility Study included a big change from when the road was first put forward in its current form. In 2004 the Council’s emphasis was on a ‘local bypass’ mainly to move some of Stockport’s existing traffic on to the new road. The 2017 view is different: the Stage 1 Study emphasises improved ‘connectivity’ for the major road network and for accessing Manchester Airport, including freight, from Junction 25 of the M60.

The second stage of the Feasibility Study, or Outline Business Case, will be written to convince the Council and Government of the need for the Bypass, rather than being an objective analysis of the pros and cons. It is worrying that the Council intends to take a decision from reading such a document.

Map of the Bypass route.

The route.

The bypass would be a five-mile dual-carriageway 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 £580 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. Volume of traffic is likely to create rush-hour blockages – causing local drivers to return to using other routes. Short-term improvements in congestion are likely to be achieved on some local roads such as the A6 (Hazel Grove northwards) and A627 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 countryside will suffer.The damage the Bypass would do can be seen in the 2004 plans below. These plans may be revised, and not necessarily for the better!

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 equals more deadly 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.

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

The 2006 plans on page 38 onwards of the Stage 1 Study Appendices are the latest to be published. We have added notes to copies of the plans on this site.

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

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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