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Campaigners question Mottram Bypass move

Vehicles travelling on Mottram Moor.

Countryside campaigners CPRE are urging residents to have their say on the impact of the A57 Link Road plans. 

The Countryside Charity, formerly known as the Campaign to Protect Rural England, claims the plans for the Mottram bypass and Glossop Spur will make traffic worse for Glossopdale, not better, plus its roads less safe.

The claim comes after the latest announcement, reported recently, that the Planning Inspectorate has accepted Highways England’s application for a Development Consent Order (DCO). It means plans for the £288m Link Roads can be formally assessed as part of the planning process.

The project will include a new dual carriageway that would run from the end of the M67 (Junction 4) and through a new underpass to the north of Mottram, in Longdendale. 

The road would then join the A57 east of the junction with the A6018 (Back Moor).

A new single carriageway road is also planned to link the A57 from Mottram Moor to Woolley Bridge, taking traffic away from the current route of the A57 along Woolley Lane. 

The proposals - although not offering a full bypass solution to encompass Hollingworth and Tintwistle - have been welcomed by bypass campaigners and local MPs for Stalybridge and Hyde Jonathan Reynolds and for Glossop Robert Largan.

However, while residents have waited more than 50 years for a bypass, the CPRE say building more roads is now an outdated answer. 

The charity says the benefits to Mottram will come at the expense of the rest of Longdendale and Glossopdale, where traffic will increase on many residential roads and across the Peak District National Park, where it says biodiversity and tranquillity will be threatened.

The group says Highways England is only concerned with safety on the trunk road and CPRE say it ‘washes it hands of the collisions caused by its scheme on the wider network’ as they state ‘safety features in areas outside the scheme are not within the applicant’s remit.’

More traffic also means more carbon emissions, say the CPRE which states that over 60 years the scheme would produce an extra 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, adding to the climate emergency, making it harder for Greater Manchester and the High Peak to reach their target net zero carbon emissions by 2038 and 2030 respectively.

“There are clear alternatives to this dated approach to congestion and pollution,” said Anne Robinson, Transport Campaigner with CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire.

“A lorry ban coupled with sustainable transport measures and technological improvements would bring lasting benefits and avoid damaging impacts on Glossopdale, Longdendale and the Peak District. But Highways England rejected this option. 

“Far reaching changes since 2015 - the declaration of a climate and nature emergency and the Covid-19 pandemic - make scrutiny of this option essential.”

The CPRE says the Tameside Green Belt would also be cut in two.

CPRE says that now is the time to ask for this scheme to be democratically scrutinised and are asking local people to get involved and have their say by registering their comments with the Planning Inspectorate.

The inspectorate is starting a six-month planning examination into Highways England’s application for consent to build the A57 Link Roads. Anyone may register and make a short representation until 23.59 on September 16, 2021. 

Visit online at https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/north-west/a57-link-roads-previously-known-as-trans-pennine-upgrade-programme/?ipcsection=docs 

You can also request a hard copy of the form by telephoning 0303 444 5000 quoting the name of the Application and the Inspectorate’s reference number TR010034. 

For more information visit https://www.cprepdsy.org.uk/what-we-care-about/climate-emergency/car-free-low-carbon-travel/trans-pennine-corridor/ or email anne.robinson@cprepeakandsyorks.org.uk

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