Losing fine countryside in Torkington

Local residents rather than ramblers make good use of Cown Edge Way from Hazel Grove across fields and along the back gardens of Peregrine Road to reach Offerton Road A627. From the path there is a long  view back across rolling countryside to Offerton, six fields away.  The Bypass would devastate all this as it drops from embankment into cutting, carving its way to a hefty two-level traffic-lights junction with Offerton Road.Bypass Torkngtn 2

The Bypass route continues from Offerton Road through the top corner of Poise Bridge Flushes Site of Biological Importance  – a lush meadow bordered by woodland between the Poise and Ochreley Brooks.

Following the route on foot, we can take a signposted footpath into a field on the left of Offerton Road just before houses begin. Poise Bridge Flushes SBI includes the eastern side of this field and the meadow and trees next door. Following the path south, we turn to the left over Ochreley Brook to reach Torkington Road’s eastern arm by Manor Cottage.

The Bypass would hit Torkington Road 150 metres east of Manor Cottage. Just north of the road it would sweep aside a footpath which currently offers a short walk across countryside to the ancient moat of Broadoak Farm. A second proposed bypass – running  north of High Lane – could directly affect the Moat’s quiet rural setting if it connects to the A6-M60 Bypass at Offerton Road (as planned in the 1990s) .

Torki PB flushes

Poise Bridge Flushes Site of Biological Importance.

Back at Torkington Road, the main A6-M60 Bypass would fell a copse as it shoehorns through a small gap between the White House and the flats in Torkington Manor. Then on into sheep pasture, at present generously sheltered by trees and watered by Ochreley Brook.

The Bypass would be masked by earth mounds as it passes less than a field away from Torkington Primary School. The school values its present peaceful location.

Broadoak moat - close to second bypass?

Broadoak moat.

Walking from Manor Cottage, we find Torkington Primary to the right on the opposite side of Torkington Road. Down the side of the school runs our final path, crossing the field to meet the Bypass route where Ochreley Brook meanders into woodland – a second Site of Biological Importance. Our walk ends here; there is no public path down to the A6 without going back into Torkington.

From Ochreley Brook,  the Bypass continues south, ploughing through thickly wooded Threaphurst Clough Site of Biological Importance to Chinley railway line.

Threaphurst horicrop 2

Threaphurst Clough Site of Biological Importance.

On the other side of the line the route ends in the woodland surrounding Ox Hey Brook – also a Site of Biological Importance.

That’s a total of four Sites of Biological Importance threatened in Torkington – important to us and to wildlife, but apparently not significant for politicians, planners and anyone else who is happy to see our green belt give way to traffic.

By Ox Hey Brook, the Bypass would link up with A6-MARR Airport Road where it meets realigned A6. Our four-and-a-half miles of life-sustaining green space ends here at a traffic intersection. Let’s do all we can to stop the tarmac and traffic spreading up through our valleys, fields and woods to  Bredbury.

A6 Ox Hey strip

Site of the proposed junction of the Bypass with the realigned A6 at Ox Hey.

Some sources

  • Official environmental summary 2003: http://www.semmms.info/140683/semmsreliefroadenvironmentalassessmentexesummary
  • Full environmental report: SEMMMS Major Road Schemes Stage 2 Environmental Assessment (available from Stockport MBC)
  • Poisebrook Valley Local Nature Reserve – SMBC link no longer live.
  • 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)
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