YEARS of traffic misery are coming to an end following the Government’s decision to give the green light to the next step in the Trans-Pennine Upgrade Programme, known locally as the Mottram Bypass.
After a long campaign, and a public consultation programme Highways England has decided to adopt the Option A route which features a dual carriageway link from the M67 terminal roundabout to a new junction on the A57 Mottram Moor (near the junction with Back Moor) and then a single carriageway road to a new junction on the A57 at Brookfield that will relieve pressure on the Woolley Bridge – Hadfield Road junction.
Two public consultation processes, showed Option A to be significantly more popular than the alternative Option B. Option B would have seen a dual carriageway from the M67 which would have led to a new junction on Mottram Moor near Coach Road before continuing to Brookfield.
Construction for a series of initiatives across the trans-Pennine route, which is expected to cost at least £180 million and take 30 months to complete, should begin in 2020.
Included within the package of measures announced today will be a series of safety initiatives including highly reflective road markings, LED road studs, vehicle-activated signs that warn drivers of hazards or inappropriate speed, skid-resistant surfaces and better crossing facilities for pedestrians in built-up areas. So journeys won’t only be faster, they’ll be safer too.
Overall the proposed initiatives have many benefits from faster journey times, safer conditions for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, better access to places of work, leisure and key sites such as Manchester Airport, through to long-term economic growth and a healthier environment as air quality improves due to less standing traffic.
Cllr Kieran Quinn, executive leader of Tameside Council said: “This is great news. After so many false starts, demands, studies and inquiries, the bypass is finally to be built.
“It’s something Tameside Council has wanted for years. I’m delighted the Highways England has adopted Option A and is now moving into the detailed planning and development stage. At its most basic level, construction of the bypass means relief for the thousands of drivers – local and passing through – who have had to sit in long traffic queues around Mottram.
“Beyond that, however, the improved transport links will do much to unlock the economic potential of the Trans-Pennine region, and the Tameside and Glossop economies in particular”.
Cllr Tony Ashton, leader of High Peak Borough Council said: “This is a very welcome announcement and it is good to see progress now being made. This scheme will enhance connectivity between Glossop, Greater Manchester and the wider motorway network and we look forward to working with Highways England and other partners to ensure the detailed design optimises the benefits for local communities and businesses.
“However, this is not the total solution to the traffic issues we face in Glossopdale and we will continue to seek a solution to alleviate traffic on the A628 at Tintwistle.”