Mottram Bypass & Glossop Spur
For more than 20 years the residents of Mottram, Hollingworth and Tintwistle have been waiting for a solution to their traffic congestion.
Every day about 36,000 commuting cars meet heavy lorries driving through the villages, creating severe traffic jams and pollution on the A57/A628 trunk road. They are also ruining some stunning local landscapes.
We are campaigning for the most effective solution to these terrible traffic problems. We recently met with the Department for Transport, and it now expects all the options to be examined including
- public transport
- car sharing
- walking and cycling
- schemes to cut carbon emissions
- free travel planning for every local resident
Free travel planning is really high on our list. When the government spent £10 million on travel planning in Darlington, Peterborough and Worcester, car use went down by nearly 10%, walking went up by 14% and cycling went up by 12%.
In 2004 we produced a package of measures to reduce traffic called The Way to Go. It includes
- removing lorries onto the motorways by using a weight restriction
- lowering speed limits in residential streets
- creating safe routes to schools
- increasing funding for local public transport
We are currently updating this with Save Swallows Wood. Watch this space.
Road building rearing its head again??
Plans for a Mottram-Tintwistle Bypass have been rumbling for decades. We oppose them. Building a bypass is a step in the wrong direction. It would lead to more cars, lorries and carbon emissions.
This summer, several local authorities pushed for an economic study looking at the possibility of a new motorway through Longdendale. We have written to Patrick McCloughlin, the new Secretary of State for Transport, and MP for Derbyshire Dales, asking him to say no to the motorway - and instead to promote the immediate introduction of small scale, low cost, sustainable measures including speed restrictions, an area-wide lorry ban and investment in public transport, walking and cycling.
Along with Campaign for Better Transport, Campaign for National Parks, CPRE, Friends of the Earth, National Trust, Open Spaces, Ramblers, RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts, we also wrote to his predecessor, Justine Greening. She confirmed the importance of National Parks and their protection, and that there was no national support for a new road solution.
Boefore this, we celebrated when the plans were finally withdrawn from a public inquiry in March 2009.
However, now a shorter bypass of the trunk road through Mottram plus a spur road from Glossop are being proposed. This new road-building may not impact directly on the Peak Park, but it would devastate the countryside of the Manchester Green Belt. It would also generate traffic and bring more congestion, car use, carbon emissions and accidents to the area - and undermine bus and train use, walking and cycling. It would also leave most of Hollingworth, Tintwistle and the Peak District National Park to endure the impact of heavy lorries on people and the environment.
In 2009 Tameside Council started developing the Longdendale Integrated Transport Strategy. It also consulted about six options, including three public transport options.
What we thought
- We wanted Tameside to implement the public transport and traffic management measures immediately - spend the £100 million earmarked on these measures now!
- We asked for a weight restriction and traffic management along the whole of the A628 trunk route between Manchester and Sheffield, both to improve safety and reduce traffic impacts on the National Park.
- We said no to new road building until these measures have been tried and tested.
We also believed that the consultation process recommended by the government wasn't fully followed because
- the causes of the traffic problems hadn't been analysed
- the opportunities and constraints - such as the proximity of the roads to the Peak District National Park - weren't made explicit to the public
- the proposed solutions were biased in favour of road building and excluded key options such as traffic management, public transport, walking and cycling.
We were also extremely concerned at what appeared to be the peripheral role of the Highways Agency in all this - because the problems are on one of its trunk roads.
We're now waiting for Tameside to employ consultants to look at the consultation responses and start building up the options...
What you can do...
- If you want to help our campaign, please get in touch with our transport campaigner Anne Robinson. We will keep you up to date and let you know if we need your support lobbying and letter writing.
- If you live locally in Glossopdale and Longdendale, contact your MP and councillors about the traffic problems and best solutions.