On Sunday 13th August we tracked the Bypass through Offerton starting from Dial Park Primary School and crossing the field to Minsmere Walks and the former Wellington Mill reservoir. The map shows the 2006 plan covering Offerton, Bosden Farm Estate and the top of Hazel Grove. Offerton would feel the full force of the bulldozers:
- The fields between Offerton Estate, Bosden Farm Estate and Hazel Grove provide a green lung in a built-up area containing major roads. There are some outstanding views over the fields, with Kinder Scout, Lyme Park and the Mellor hill in the distance.
- The Bypass with associated link roads, drainage tanks, flood areas and earthworks will destroy the existing green space. Earthworks would block out sight of the Bypass and link roads, but also much of the existing attractive view beyond the fields.
- Despite the earthworks lining the route, the Bypass would be a noisy, intrusive and pervasive presence. Together with its link roads, the Bypass would come closest to these roads: Foggbrook Close, Minsmere Walks and Braeside Close, and parts of Bean Leach, Siskin, Kingfisher and Alfreton Roads, Tarnside and Dunnock Closes, Talbot Street and Farndon Avenue.
- Offerton, Bosden Farm and the top of Hazel Grove would have three Bypass junctions in less than a mile. These would be intrusive and noisy. At the centre of the lost green space would be the junction between the link road and the Bypass plus the bridge carrying Bean leach Road over this junction.
- The Bypass would pass within 100 metres of Dial Park Primary School. Air pollution is especially harmful to young lungs. Around the world, the view is that schools should not be built within 150 metres of busy roads (defined as carrying more than 10,000 vehicles a day – the Bypass could have five or six times as many).
- The existing plan places a major junction 100 metres from the nearest school building. The junction would include traffic signals and queuing traffic. Stationary traffic produces the most emissions. It is shocking that this plan has been allowed to exist for 13 years.
- As noted above, current plans involve traffic signals on the carriageways. This would inevitably lead to major traffic queues at peak hours. Congestion would spread on to local roads. Some local congestion could be more intense than currently experienced.
- The recently published Feasibility Study Stage 1 favoured a change in the plans – replacing traffic signal junctions with motorway-style junctions. The motorway-style junctions would cover a much larger area and could require property demolition. They would be monsters, out of scale with the area.