I am writing to provide you with an update on the work I have been doing regarding our
chronic traffic problems in Longdendale.
Just after being elected as our MP, I and the new MP for High Peak organised a meeting
between the local authorities in our area and officials from the Department for Transport to
discuss how we might get Government to listen to local concerns about the traffic problems
throughout Mottram, Hollingworth and Tintwistle.
Since the Public Inquiry into the Mottram-Tintwistle Bypass was abandoned, we have faced uncertainty as to what the future holds.
Although funding for a more modest scheme has been allocated within the Greater
Manchester region for some sort of scheme, there has not been clear agreement on how
best to use this.
One proposal, which was to build a road from the M67 roundabout around
Mottram, then across Mottram Moor to Woolley Bridge (known as ‘LITS’ — the Longdendale
integrated Transport Scheme), did not seem satisfactory for a number of reasons, including
the lack of substantive relief for Hollingworth.
Together, we have now successfully established a working group comprised of
representatives from Tameside, High Peak, Derbyshire, and Barnsley Councils; the
Department for Transport; the Highways Agency; and the Peak District National Park.
This group has been meeting regularly for the last year to look at how we can build support for
solutions to the traffic problems within the entire peak corridor area, which begins and ends
in Longdendale. Getting all these organisations to commit to working together on a solution
is in itself a breakthrough. Any previous efforts have been much more fragmented and have
suffered as a result.
One reason why the Public Inquiry failed in 2007 was because although the scheme had
strong support locally, it did not command the same breadth of support further afield. This is
what we are seeking to overcome. In addition, however, we must also be conscious of the
likely scale of resources available: the Greater Manchester area has had an indicative
£65.4m allocated for all transport projects between 2015 and 2019.
For Sheffield and South Yorkshire the indicative figure is £37.3m. The previous Bypass plan was estimated as
costing between £24O—£315m back in 2008.
I strongly supported that previous Bypass plan and am still of the belief that local people
need and deserve a scheme which is as comprehensive as that. However, I also want to
see relief brought to people as soon as possible.
I am willing to consider any plan which does this, although it is still my view that any solution will have to involve the building of a
new road to relieve Mottram Moor and Market Street. We need to take the traffic out of the
centre of the villages.
Whilst this obviously will not be easy, we have already scored some small victories. For
instance, the Highways Agency had started to consider selling all the properties they hold in
the Mottram area – which were purchased over the years as a means of protecting the route
of the Bypass. Had this happened it would have been a significant setback.
By ensuring the Highways Agency did not do this, we managed to prevent the properties from being sold and
the route has been protected. in addition, the Group recently commissioned the first piece of
work to look into the economic benefits of investing in traffic solutions in the area. This is
crucial as govemment does not support these kinds of schemes unless there is a clear
benefit to the wider economy.
Just before Christmas we also met with the Transport Minister,
Stephen Hammond, who agreed to task his officials to look into the case we have made so
far and come back to us early this year.
l also want to say that, having lived in Hollingworth and Mottram for several years, and
represented the area as a Councillor before being elected to Parliament, I understand just
how important this issue is, and also how frustrating it is that nothing has still been done
despite all the years of effort.
However disappointing the lack of success might be, we have
to keep up the effort, and l am determined to do exactly that.
I keep a database of all constituents interested in this issue; if you would like to be added to
it please email me at: [removed so he doesn’t get spam] Also, if you would like to meet me
to discuss this issue further, l am always happy to do so.
Jonathan Reynolds MP
PS. l have also been contacted by a number of constituents regarding Tameside MBC’s
Core Strategy consultation paper. Whilst this is a local council document rather than a
national govemment matter (which l deal with as your MP), it does impact on this particular
issue. This paper proposes that part of the land at the end of the M67 (behind Hyde Road)
be designated for future light industrial use.
I want to make a number of things clear – firstly this is not a planning application: it is only
a guide as to where future planning applications might be. It is also not an attempt to end any
hope of a road being built between the M67 roundabout and Stalybridge Road — any
development would have to incorporate this.
Clearly, any such development could cause
further traffic problems if it came before we had a new traffic scheme in place, and I would
need to see how this would be dealt with before I could support development in this area.
I would also be concerned to ensure any recreational areas where preserved or relocated.
However, my instinct is that this is a better proposal than one which would have put more
houses in this particular area. You can read more about the Core Strategy document here: