Our thoughts are with all who bear the brunt of Covid-19 and with the health and care workers and volunteers heroically struggling to reduce the human cost of it.
There are different views sincerely held about the issues addressed in this website. Against Covid-19 we all stand together.
When our futures are in the balance, the important things can become clearer. Our green spaces, trees and countryside were passed on to us, they help to sustain us, and should be our legacy for generations to come.
This website is dedicated to preserving the green belt around Stockport. The focus is particularly on protecting Stockport’s beautiful Lower Goyt Valley (pictured), woods and fields from endless schemes to build an A6-M60 Bypass. The Bypass would extend the A555 Airport Road from Hazel Grove to the M60 at Bredbury.
The Government has three times refused Stockport Council funding for further work on the plan. But it is still possible that the Council would apply for funding to build the road whenever the Government next opens bids for road-building.
A more immediate danger to Stockport’s green belt comes from a current planning application to extend Bredbury Industrial Estate across the Tame Valley at Woodley. See more about this.
The proposed A6-M60 Bypass between Hazel Grove and the M60 looks ever more outdated in the face of people’s concerns about disappearing nature, flooding, pollution and the climate crisis.
The massively expensive £500 million road would ruin wonderful green belt including the Lower Goyt Valley in Offerton and Bredbury and the Poise Brook Valley Nature Reserve. But for what? The result would be more traffic and new traffic problems.
Since the failure of last year’s funding application, Stockport Council’s Labour leadership have become wary of the Bypass scheme. However, the Lib Dems already have the same number of councillors as Labour and could pull ahead at the next local elections – now scheduled for next year. So far the Lib Dems remain committed to building the Bypass.
There are many reasons why the A6-M60 Bypass is a bad idea:
Airport Road shambles: The Bypass would extend the A555 Airport Road completed in October 2018. The A555 has increased congestion around its eastern end on the A6 and Macclesfield Road and produced many accidents. It has been closed three times by flooding. Construction was chaotic and late, causing costs to rise. Do we want more of this?
Induced traffic: New roads don’t just take up existing traffic; they generate extra traffic, which is why roads aimed to ease congestion end up producing more jams – like the M60! The Bypass would be the same.
High Lane: Congestion on the A6 in High Lane and Disley was aggravated by the A555. The A6-M60 Bypass will make it even more jammed.
Blocked exits: Existing congestion on the M60 eastbound at Bredbury and at the Airport end of the A555 is bad and would be made worse by the Bypass. The A555 would become busier and would need to be widened in places.
Offerton snarl-up: Three Bypass junctions controlled by traffic lights would be close together in Offerton and Hazel Grove, drawing traffic and congestion through local streets to the new road. In total the Bypass would have seven junctions with traffic signals on the carriageways.
Climate change: The Bypass would be bad for climate change because it would take more cars to the Airport; it would increase traffic and car dependency; it would destroy carbon absorbing greenery and trees; and its construction would have a heavy carbon footprint.
Flooding: The Bypass would cross the flood plains of Poise Brook (including flood-prone areas of Bosden farm Estate and Hazel Grove) and streams running into the Lower Goyt. It would collect water that would no longer be able to soak away into the earth.
Disappearing nature: At a time when many plant, insect and animal species are facing extinction we need to preserve our woods, valleys and fields. The Bypass would go through nine Sites of Biological Importance, designated to protect natural habitats.
Stale ideas from SEMMMS Refresh
The Bypass remains stubbornly at the heart of the Council’s new transport strategy SEMMMS Refresh, which has never been officially signed off.
Including the Bypass in SEMMMS Refresh makes a nonsense of the transport strategy. The Bypass would generate extra traffic and create new problems of congestion at the massive cost of £500 million, which is money better spent on public transport.
Stockport needs alternatives to using the car – not more dependency on cars.
In November 2017 we presented a 7,000-signature petition opposing the Bypass. Our current 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”.)
Goyt Hall on the edge of the Bypass route. See more Valley Art.
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 plans. The 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.
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.
Some 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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