By Jonathan Reynolds MP
TAMESIDE has been a traffic jam for too long. We are the bottleneck of traffic crossing the country between the M6 and the M1, but our roads cannot cope with the volume of vehicles passing through.
Where the M67 stops, the lovely villages of Mottram, Hollingworth (I’ve lived in both) and Tintwistle suffer congestion and pollution, with the impact felt in Stalybridge, Hyde, Glossop and beyond. It is bad for our health, our economy and our quality of life. We need a bypass. However, after decades of promises, people have lost faith.
2020 will be a very important year for the Mottram bypass. This key piece of local infrastructure is finally on the brink of being built.
Getting the bypass back on the agenda in 2014 is my proudest achievement as your MP. The Secretary of State for Transport has confirmed to me the Development Consent Order will be submitted at the end of this year. This is effectively the planning application for the scheme.
Highways England will soon publish figures showing the likely impact of the bypass being built.
These should show substantial local traffic reductions and air quality improvements. Residents will get a chance to respond.
Stumbling blocks are rapidly reducing. The vast majority of the properties that need to be purchased are already owned by Highways England. Of the 28 properties, only two transactions are outstanding. I am proud to have helped prevent these properties being privately sold back in 2010.
Once the Development Consent Order is submitted, a planning inspector will be appointed, who will carry out an examination, and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport. As soon as the Secretary of State approves the scheme, construction can begin. This will take about two and half years.
Meanwhile, I continue to make the case for the second phase of the bypass, around Hollingworth and Tintwistle, to get the green light.
So, while most people will only believe it when they can see it and drive on it, we are getting there. I told you I would never give up on this. I will not.