Thursday, April 16, 2009

More info on "Bypass 2.0" - Tameside's sleight of hand

Snippets of info are starting to emerge about Tameside MBC's plans for a bypass on the cheap.

Last week saw a press release about the possible scheme being published in Local Transport Today (our screen grab of the article can be viewed here). More information is amongst the agenda items for TMBC's Executive 'Cabinet' that met on 1st April (seriously!), and these can be read here (opens PDF). Regarding the bypass, this is all the info we get:

A bypass of Mottram passing to the north of the village crossing and linking to Roe Cross Road and Mottram Moor and from there along the line of the Glossop Spur to Woolly Bridge (sic)

So our prediction in a previous blog post about likely routes appears to be wrong. Instead, the route under consideration appears to be akin to the 'Grey Route', which was put forward for public consultation back in 1993, alongside the Brown Route which ended up in the shit as it were. We'd like to remind everyone why the Grey Route was rejected at that time (from the Highways Agency's history of the scheme published on the Public Inquiry website - opens PDF):

(The Grey Route) had an adverse impact on the built environment, cultural heritage, townscape and construction because it traversed most of the 'difficult' areas of poor ground conditions

Whilst not mentioning where the road will go after reaching Woolley Bridge, the maps showing all the historical routes makes clear the plan will be to forge through what is now Rossington Park en route towards Tintwistle. The plan seems to be to capitalise on opposition to Rossington Park, but how Tameside MBC, or High Peak BC for that matter, will justify subjecting the Nothern portion of Hadfield to a proto-motorway is another matter. Rossington Park is by no means a success, and there's nothing to say it will be there in years to come, unlike any new road that is constructed. 

But the second part of Tameside's plans are the most interesting: 

- A package of sustainable travel initiatives linked to the existing School Travel Plans.

- A package of public transport (bus) improvements on the bypassed/relieved roads

- Cycling and pedestrian improvements on the bypassed/relieved roads.

- A package of traffic calming/road safety and environmental street improvements on the bypassed/relieved roads,

- Selected rail station improvements

- A lorry ban for through traffic on the A628/A616 (Woodhead Pass) and the A57 (Snake Pass) which would probably require the de-trunking of the A628/A616. Possible extension of the lorry ban to the other trans-Pennine routes passing through the Peak District National Park.

- The re-opening of the Woodhead rail route for trans-Pennine freight and passenger traffic

What looks like a sweetener for a road project, may be just that. But anti-bypass activists must ignore this at their peril - it's an attempt to 'divide and rule'. By stealing the positive agenda of more than one local campaign, plus making overtures to the disaffected Peak District National Park Authority, Tameside MBC hope that everyone will forget the plan is still to build another road. And one that follows the route of the likely Eastwards extension of the M67 30-odd years ago.

Of course, there's still the issue of how this will be paid for, and this is also covered in the same minutes. But that's for another time... 


Stephen said...

Given appropriate scrutiny, the plans from Tameside may actually be not too bad. It could be that they don't intend the bypass to go beyond Wooley Bridge - if they are going to have a lorry ban and reopen Woodhead they really there is little need to extend it. The major traffic 'problem' is Glossop; the spur will take that traffic away and allow reasonable access to Rossington Park for lorries so may be a decent approach. I'd wanted to put such a proposal as an alternative but was told only complete alternatives to the entire scheme were acceptable. In my view the volume of traffic through Mottram is never going to reduce to the point where it is not a problem so a bypass of this 'pinch point' is still desirable as long as it is appropriate and does not have a major impact on the area. I suspect our views differ in that I'm pro bypassing Mottram but anti the bypass scheme as a whole.

anonee said...

But removing the "pinchpoint" would send a big green light that the cross pennine route is now a better option than the M62 (especially for those travelling to the North of Manchester). Traffic through Tintwistle, Hollingworth and Glossop will increase as a direct result. In the meantime, Tameside will pay lip service to a lorry ban and wont back it fully. There will then be a renewed effort and there would be more local support to get the original bypass plans reinstated. Also, byproducts of any bypass 2.0 include industrial commercial park adjacent to Roe Cross Road and on the Mottram Showground green belt land.
Surely, the only way is a lorry ban NOW - forget this new road stuff!

Stephen said...

A lorry ban isn't going to stop Mottram getting clogged up every day though. Can you suggest any way to let the locals have their village back? Or some way they actually get to their homes without sitting in traffic for ages? I do agree that they lorry ban is a must regardless of what happens but this is only a small part of the problem. Maybe a 40 limit across Woodhead? It would be a pain for us as well but if it deters people from this route then it's worth putting up with. However, you are still going to get Glossop traffic snarling up in Mottram unless something is done to free things up a bit and don't forget that one reason traffic from the Roe Cross end struggles to get anywhere is the rat-runners through Broadbottom. A turn-right filter for traffic going towards the M67 would also be a great help but a better bet all round would be at the very minimum a road running around the back of the houses to join the top of Back Moor / Roe Cross Road.

anonee said...

We agree on the lorry ban and a Woodhead 40mph would also be great to deter traffic from the villages.
Also agree that the local traffic is a major factor and that could be handled better with a filter.
Whats interesting I htink, is that theres a threshold effect, whenever the Woodhead is closed or during the school hols. the flow is usually OK. Thats why I support a lorry ban - I think its enough to tip the balance and allow an acceptable flow of local traffic. New roads generally fill up and open up fields for building new houses and supermarkets (at the expense of local shops).

Stephen said...

Really, I'd like to see the lorry ban first and judge how much difference that makes before deciding where to go next. I do feel that leaving Mottram as it is just isn't going to work - even if the traffic flow reduced a little you've still got an awkward junction and a village centre dominated by the road. I still feel that a new road behind the houses from the filling station to the mini roundabout would be enough to resolve this. Either give preference to this and down Back Moor, or use this to allow one-way flows through the village and ease the junctions.

I see you point on new roads filling up but if we more replace and unsuitable road with a better one then hopefully that effect will be minimised and as for new houses and supermarkets, it is supposedly a conservation area so that *shouldn't* happen. If developers can't get permission to rebuild the little old house on the top of Dewsnap Lane then by rights the council should refuse permission for any other new developments in the area.....

anonee said...

Agree again, lorry ban should take priority. Then the local traffic management should follow. The council have deliberately neglected traffic control in the area as they hoped teh frustrated commuters would help push their bypass case. Don't be so sure about development - its unstoppable - we can only slow it down. Also, the only conservation area in Mottram is up near the Church and primary school. Despite that there are plans for development up there.

Heres to a HGV ban!