STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds is seeking urgent clarification on the government’s position towards a bypass in Longdendale.
In one of his first actions since being elected, Mr Reynolds has invited Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond to visit the constituency to see for himself the problems that are caused by traffic congestion in the area.
The A57 – between Hollingworth and the end of the M67 in Mottram – is one of the busiest ‘A Roads’ in the country. But the road, which cuts through the village of Mottram, was not built to cope with this volume of traffic.
As a result roads throughout Longdendale are often jammed. And the level of traffic has an impact on air quality, noise and dust for local residents.
"Residents in Longdendale have been blighted by the problems of excessive traffic on the A57 for more than 30 years," said Mr Reynolds, who is also the local councillor for the Longdendale ward.
"A significant number of lorries and heavy goods vehicles use the A57 as the preferred route between the end of the M67 and Yorkshire. But this is a relatively minor road in a small village, which was never designed for such heavy traffic.
"Residents have been promised a solution to this unacceptable problem for years – but instead they still have to put up with jammed roads and poor public transport links.
"I have now written to the new Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond to invite him to witness this problem for himself.
"The Liberal Democrats have a policy of no new major road building schemes. And I am seeking a reassurance from Mr Hammond that this will not be the policy of the joint Liberal-Conservative coalition."
Plans for a Longdendale bypass were shelved earlier this year after the Highways Agency pulled out of a public inquiry, where they had earlier submitted miscalculated data.
The council has now drawn up the ‘Longdendale Integrated Transport Strategy’, which is designed to ease the volume of traffic.
The plan includes a new road, as well as changes to public transport, including bus priority measures, and improvements that would include park and ride.
The council has been conducting a wide-ranging consultation exercise that addressed the different options.
Published May 19, 2010.