Mottram Bypass & Glossop Spur
A57/A628 Trans-Pennine upgrade scheme
The A57/A628 Trans-Pennine Upgrade Scheme would have profound adverse impacts on the Longdendale Valley and the western setting of the National Park. The proposals are for a dual carriageway bypass of Mottram and a link road to Glossop, with climbing lanes in the National Park east of Woodhead reservoir. In addition safety works would be undertaken along the route and dualling of the A61 in South Yorkshire would be completed.
By relieving the traffic jam in Mottram, the proposal is likely to increase traffic along the route and worsen the situation in the National Park and in the villages of Langsett, Hollingworth and Tintwistle. We fully support the need to alleviate communities along the route of the adverse traffic conditions but believe that other measures should be tried before major road building turns the area into one vast traffic junction.
The next step will be public consultation in March 2017 on the options for routeing the improvements after which the preferred option announcement would be made in July 2017. The schemes are already guaranteed funding through the Road Investment Strategy.
The A628 issue
The A628 Woodhead route passes straight through the heart of the Peak District National Park which has the strongest protection in the country. Government proposals announced in the Road Investment Strategy in December 2014 for upgrading the route (see below) would cause immense damage to well-loved landscapes and European nature conservation sites.
Local residents of Mottram Hollingworth and Tintwistle have long endured congestion with air pollution and heavy lorries on their doorsteps. Others are looking for a fast all-weather direct road route connecting Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire.
We believe that congestion and connectivity can be significantly improved without damaging new road building, as shown by research from the Metropolitan Transport Research Unit (MTRU) . A package of measures routing HGVs via the M62, investment in rail and bus services, active travel for local people and slower speeds would free up road space for longer journeys and contribute to wider sustainability and health objectives in the area.
A new fast trans-Pennine rail link for both passengers and freight is also needed, as supported by the Northern Powerhouse of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield cities . ‘One North’ recognises that the environmental constraints, i.e. the National Park, that exist between Sheffield and Manchester prohibit the development of a new road link.
For the future the Government’s investigation of a £6bn tunnel under the Pennines to link Manchester and Sheffield has now been extended from a road-only tunnel to include a rail option. Whilst a tunnel could be good news for the Peak District only a rail option would allow sustainable travel. A new road tunnel would simply deposit drivers nearer to city centres to sit on long queues.
Details of the A628 corridor upgrades
The A628 corridor would be upgraded at three locations along the route with a short bypass of Mottram, climbing lanes in the Peak District National Park and dualling of the A61. It is the old story of piecemeal upgrades that will lead to demands for more upgrades
- A new dual link road from the M67 roundabout at Hattersley to a new junction on the A57T on Mottram Moor, and a link to the Glossop Spur between Mottram Moor and the A57 the These measures aim to free up the Longdendale bottleneck but will also open up the corridor for traffic to divert off the M62 and take the shorter journey. Local people who weren’t using their cars will use them and traffic jams will quickly return along with air pollution and traffic collisions.
- Two east bound climbing lanes in the National Park, east of Woodhead Bridge, would go against Government policy. There is a strong presumption against any significant road widening in a Park and for long distance traffic to avoid the Park. Between Tintwistle and Flouch traffic light cameras, speed cameras and message signs would clutter the route.
- Completion of the dualling of the A61 in South Yorkshire
- The 2007 Mottram Tintwistle Bypass could be delivered in two parts. The Road Investment Strategy refers to ‘consultation with local communities and stakeholders, to reach consensus on the scope and viability of further improvements and extensions to the Mottram Moor Link Road that would alleviate the issues faced in Tintwistle and Hollingworth’. This is recognition of the severe traffic impacts on these communities once the Mottram bottleneck is released but underlines the piecemeal rather than corridor approach.
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.