Anyone familiar with the Mottram Bypass issue knows locals have been trying to get a bypass built around the villages of Mottram-in-Longdendale and Tintwistle for over thirty years.
Tameside Council keeps collecting Council Tax, smiling and doing nothing. They are only interested in collecting parking fines that destroy the once thriving market and shopping areas of nearby Hyde, Stalybridge and Ashton town centres.
They also – unhelpfully – allowed Tesco to build a huge superstore directly adjacent to the site of one of Tameside’s worst traffic nightmares (M67/Mottram Moor).
Although Tesco’s is useful to locals (and particularly useful to the professional shoplifters of the neighbouring Hattersley sink estate), it has done nothing to ease the local traffic congestion.
A new local might wonder what their elected politicians are actually doing about the three decade old traffic issues surrounding Mottram. Why is there no Mottram bypass after so many years? What are these people sucking at the public teat actually doing about this issue?
Well, a good friend of the Real Deal Blog recently moved to Mottram, and with our help, there has been a minor local investigation. We intend to put our weight (and considerable Google ranking) behind this issue and enlist our friends at the Daily Mail and the Manchester Evening News to help.
The internet is a most powerful tool nowadays, elected politicians who do nothing on this issue will be lampooned here. If you are an elected politician serving Tameside, listen up: We are watching you, and if you do not reply your constituents on this issue, and be seen to campaign to help solve Mottram’s traffic issues, you will be exposed here.
Several months ago, our Mottram resident used the site writetothem.com to contact the following representatives:
- Councillor Janet Cooper (Labour)
- Councillor Adam White (Labour)
- Councillor Gillian Peet (Labour)
- Jonathan Reynolds MP (labour)
- Lord Pendry
The three Councillors either didn’t reply or replied with some generic copy/pasted bullshit.
If you care about the Mottram Bypass issue, we urge you to NOT vote for Councillors Janet Cooper, Adam White or Gillian Peet. They do not care about this issue.
Lord Pendry on the other hand, replied with a long and pleasant letter and enclosed many newspaper cuttings demonstrating his commitment to the Mottram Bypass idea, some of which dated back to the early 1970’s. Any sensible Mottram Bypass scheme has his full approval and he will put his weight also behind any good scheme. So the cause has a Lord on board already!
Jonathan Reynolds MP also replied in the positive. So much so, we can almost forgive him for being a Labour party member (Jonathan, defect now, Nigel Farage is waiting for you!). As he is a part time local resident, he gets to sit in the soul-destroying traffic first hand.
Jonathan Reynolds MP also keeps a list of those interested in this issue, and updates them when he has some news. Imagine that? A politician that actually gives a sh!t? A rare breed indeed.
Recently, he sent out a very interesting and informative letter to constituents that care about the Mottram Bypass issue. It didn’t appear on his website, so we have took the trouble to have one of our technical guys scan and convert it to text and we reproduce it here:
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 government 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 government matter (which I 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: http://bit.ly/XfrxNg
Jonathan Reynolds obviously cares about the community and the voters.
Jonathan Reynolds is obviously the “go to” man about issues concerning the Mottram Bypass now.
Give Jonathan Reynolds your support over the Mottram Bypass issue and get on his mailing list for all matters concerning the issue. His website can be found here: Jonathan Reynolds. email the man, engage with the man. Tell him how important the Mottram Bypass issue is to you.
Actually, anyone who was around Mottram when the A628 was closed due to the snow recently will have seen what Mottram could be. Mottram was a sleepy village once more with no traffic problems at all. Total bliss!
On reflection, I think just the two toll booths; one on the Snake Pass and one on Woodhead Pass will cure the Mottram problem in a heartbeat.
No bypass needed if they do that.
2016 update – please sign the petition here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/123674