The moment I was elected as MP for Stalybridge and Hyde ten years ago I said I would make delivering the Mottram bypass one of my top priorities. Countless meetings, letters and parliamentary questions and debates later, I’m absolutely delighted to announce the scheme is on the brink of construction. Highways England have today announced the appointment of major builders Balfour Beatty Atkins to deliver the new roads.
The new dual carriageway will run from the M67 roundabout, then under Roe Cross Road, Old Road and Old Hall Lane through a new underpass. The road will then join Mottram Moor just below the junction with the A6018 (Back Moor). A new single carriageway road will then link the A57 from Mottram Moor to Woolley Bridge (known locally as the ‘Glossop Spur’).
The unacceptable congestion levels through our villages will be markedly reduced, as will the journey time from Manchester to Sheffield. This will boost quality of life locally and could prove a significant economic stimulus. Currently, 25,000 vehicles and 2000 HGVs chug through Mottram every single day, causing delays, noise and pollution.
There have been two welcome improvements to the plans since the last consultation: the underpass is now planned to come out slightly further away from the properties on Old Hall Lane, and the proposed mini roundabout and access road linking the new road Roe Cross Road has been taken out. Local traffic will use the existing roads, with regional traffic passing by.
The next and last round of consultation will now commence in November 2020 for a period of six weeks. Final plans will go to the Planning Inspectorate in April 2021. It is hope that diggers will be on site come October 2022, with the bypass scheduled to be open for traffic in March 2025.
So much of my constituency is affected by Mottram traffic levels – on a bad day, it causes tailbacks through Hyde, Stalybridge, Hollingworth and beyond. This is great news for the whole area – Tameside has been one big traffic jam for too long, the bottleneck of all cross-Pennine congestion. I really believe it will be transformative for residents, businesses, drivers and pedestrians alike.
Infrastructure projects of this size – £200 million- can often hit delays, but the decades Longdendale residents have waited for this news were exceptionally frustrating. I promised I would get this road or die trying, and now we finally have dates and constructors confirmed.
I would like to say an enormous thank you to Longdendale councillors, Janet Cooper and Jacqueline Owen, for their equally unyielding hard work to achieve this, as well colleagues in Highways England, Tameside Council, and longstanding local campaign group, the Longdendale Siege Committee.
To my late friend David Moore, who passed away this spring, and fought hard for this road – today is for you.