ONE of the area’s most notorious road problems is a step closer to ending.
Barely a day goes by without a traffic jam snaking through the Hattersley and Mottram area as vehicles line up to cross the Peak District on either the Snake or Woodhead Pass.
Now plans for a new £228 million bypass, which has been years in the making, is nearer to reality after Highways England secured a Development Consent Order (DCO).
The new bypass would include a new dual carriageway that would run from the end of the M67 at Hattersley and through a new underpass to the north of Mottram.
That route would then continue to a new single carriageway road that would link the A57 – which becomes the Snake Pass – from Mottram Moor to Woolley Bridge, taking traffic away from the current route of the A57 along Woolley Lane.
There would also be a road that feeds on to the A6018 Mottram Road, close to the site of the former Roe Cross Inn.
The Planning Inspectorate accepted Highways England’s application for a DCO and documents can now be formally assessed as part of the planning process.
People have the opportunity to comment in writing and take part in hearings. The inspectorate will then make its recommendation to the Secretary of State and if a DCO is granted it will pave the way for construction to begin.
Andy Dawson, Highways England’s project manager, said: “The decision to accept our DCO application represents an important milestone for the scheme, not only for us as the project team but for all those who have supported this project over a number of years.”
About 25,000 vehicles travel along the A57 through Mottram every day, including more than 2,000 HGVs – equivalent to one lorry entering the village every 42 seconds.
Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, said: “This marks a significant step forward for the Mottram Bypass.
“Delivering this project to improve local air quality, reduce journey times and boost our economy has been a priority for me throughout my time in Parliament.
“Understandably, some residents say ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ This news means that day is drawing closer.
“It also means residents get their chance to respond formally to the plans. I’m particularly pleased to see new footpaths and cycleways included. This is a really positive step forward.”