Author Archives: slowdriver

Stockport Council has widened its attempts to gain funds for further A6-M60 Bypass preparations. On January 16th the Council wrote to the Government asking for cash. Now it says it is also talking money with Transport for Greater Manchester and Transport for the North.

The Government’s Department for Transport has been slow to respond because the Council’s request is outside the normal bidding process. The Council wants £500,000 immediately. The money would be used to put together an application for full funding for the Bypass (eventual cost: half a billion!).

The Council’s Cabinet has not yet committed to building the Bypass – but a glance at the official shows the Council’s officers want it built. The latest official update is at the bottom of’s A6-M60 page.

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.

Goyt Valley SOS! has given the Government briefing documents explaining that the Bypass would destroy precious green space while offering no answer to Stockport’s transport problems.

Meanwhile completion of the Airport Road (A6-Airport/M56, started March 2015) has been further delayed, due in part to inadequate site investigation before building began (see News page) and also because of the collapse of joint builders Carillion, bankrupted by underbidding (not just in Stockport). Reckless and sloppy work apparent in the problems of the Airport Road and Carillion are demonstrated in the A6-M60 Bypass plan too.

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

Save our beautiful green spaces!

After Stockport Council’s vote to move to the next stage of A6-M60 Bypass development, our wonderful valleys and green spaces are in serious danger. A report endorsed by the Council envisaged unleashing the bulldozers in the early 2020s.

Bypass and Stockport major roads

Bypass: dotted line

The Council recently published a Strategic Outline Business Case – needed to bid for further money from the Government.  It 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 countryside will suffer.

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. The white area has not been modelled. See all of JameReprospects Primary School Junction crops’ model.

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
  • 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.

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