Jonathan Reynolds MP

Representing the communities of Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Longdendale, and Dukinfield
labour and coop candidate jonathan reynolds

Progress on Longdendale traffic problems

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Trying to sort out the dreadful congestion we face in the Longdendale area is, and always be, a priority for me. As our MP, and a former Longdendale councillor and resident of both Hollingworth and Mottram, I am determined to put an end to the traffic problem that plagues people in the area.

In 2009 the Highways Agency abandoned the plans for the Mottram-Tintwistle bypass after the projected costs escalated, leaving us all extremely disappointed.

After being elected as our MP, I began trying to get things moving again. I was adamant that the Government must understand that a solution still needed to be found, and that planning for that should be happening now.

So, for the past couple of years, myself, and the MP for High Peak Andrew Bingham, plus a range of local Councils including Tameside, High Peak, Barnsley and Derbyshire, have been working together to try and get this issue back on the agenda.

Only the Department of Transport has the resources to conduct this kind of work and at first getting them to take an interest wasn't easy. However in July, as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced plans for a ‘feasibility study’ that would be undertaken by the Highways Agency to look at the traffic problems along the Trans-Pennine route (which includes the A628 and M67 in Longdendale).

The broad purpose of such a study is to identify strategic weaknesses in the road network, estimate how much of a priority these problems are, and, perhaps most importantly, try to put a cost on a solution. I think it is important our problems are being considered as part of a wider solution, as in the past focusing on it simply as a local issue has not yielded the kind of resources we need.

Despite the lack of detail I welcomed this announcement as a first step towards getting the Department for Transport to recommit itself to solving the traffic problems in Longdendale and throughout the Trans-Pennine corridor.

However, I am pleased to be able to tell you that the roads Minister, Robert Goodwill MP, has recently been in touch with me to confirm that work on this study is now getting started, and that it is the intention for this work to be completed by the Autumn of this year. 

As a first step, I will be engaging with the Highways Agency in the coming weeks to ensure that the scope of this study will be sufficient, and I will be making clear what I think needs to happen to address the issues that have inspired this work to take place.

As ever, I am keen to keep constituents interested in this matter well informed, and am happy to speak to anybody who wishes to discuss this issue further.

 

  • commented 2014-01-25 19:29:09 +0000
    I have travelled this road on many occasions but it has always been a problem road. I would first like to ask who had the idea that ending a three lane motorway on a roundabout was a good idea? Secondly if we move this traffic it will only become a problem for someone else unless the motorway goes all the way across to the M1 thus meaning that the M60 would become either less constricted or under used. Thirdly why cant we restrict the traffic which uses it by making it a no-through road or making the speed limit 30/40 on the whole of this road.
  • commented 2014-01-24 23:05:18 +0000
    One problem is future-proofing. We all know that building roads can sometimes just generate more traffic partly because it appears an easier or more feasible journey. I remember hearing Jo Grimond say as much way back in the 60s and thinking it was nonsense but, though the M25 was an extreme example, there are many other less dramatic examples. For instance, my uncles both used to drive articulated HGVs on a return journey between Leeds and London in a night in the 60’s/70s because the M1 enabled that to happen. Similarly, the M62 now enables two return journeys to be made in a day between Manchester and Leeds, whereas, before the motorway was built one such journey was all that was possible or attempted. This of course is modernisation and reflects the demands of a 21st C economy. And it has to be said, excluding Manchester/Leeds, the standard of transpennine road and rail routes, for such a small island, at times borders on 3rd World standards.

    However, getting back to Mottram, the solution to the local problem has to include also the by-passing of Glossop as well as Hollingworth, from the M67 at Mottram. The issue being, how far will that just increase the overall volume of traffic willing to travel that way instead of another and how much would it just move the traffic problem on to somewhere else. But my view is bring it on.

    To widen the debate even further, the very positive decision to electrify rail lines in the north of England places the decision to close the (electrified) Woodhead rail link all those years ago in an increasingly short-sighted light.

    For me, living in Stalybridge, a rail journey to Sheffield, which is about 40 miles away, can take two hours depending on timetables. Which could eventually be about the time between Manchester and London…………

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