Tameside leader reaches accord with Derbyshire colleagues over By-pass
Friday 17th March 2017 @ 11:14 by Nigel P.
Business Community News Tameside

Tameside leader Councillor Quinn and fellow Councillor Greenhalgh meet with their Derbyshire party colleagues Sheila Yamin and Becki Woods to harmonise plans for road development that will pass through North Derbyshire linking Sheffield with Tameside.

 

Recent weeks has seen a flurry of cross border diplomacy between Tamesides Labour leadership and the prospective Labour candidates in the forthcoming Derbyshire County Council elections.

Sheila Yamin and Becki Woods, Leading campaigners for investment in Trans-Pennine links between Tameside and Glossop visited Dukinfield for talks with Tameside Council Leader Kieran Quinn.

 The pair are also the Labour Party candidates for the Glossop and Charlesworth and Etherow seats respectively in this year’s elections.

They met with Councillor Quinn to discuss a mutually acceptable solution to local congestion problems. The talks included a discussion about a double planning application for the Mottram by pass and Glossop spur and the Trans-Pennine tunnel.

The two sides also discussed what enviromental benefits could be derived from the construction of the tunnel to minimise the impact on the Peak District National Park.

Sheila said, The talks with Councillor Quinn were very constructive. We were clear that a double planning application was our preference to avoid a bypass-only outcome that would simply transfer the current traffic problems at the Hattersley roundabout down the road in to Glossop. He was supportive of this approach.”

 

 

Traffic jams such as the above are a feature of life in the Derbyshire villages to the east of Tameside as the existing road systems struggle to accommodate the volume of vehicles trying to reach Sheffield or returning from there to Greater Manchester. 

 

 Becki added, It feels like we are now closer than ever to a solution to our traffic problems. We will continue to press the local and national highway authorities and the Department for Transport for action so that this issue is not kicked in to the long grass for another 50 years.”

The County Council candidates have now demanded a new memorandum of understanding between the County and Tameside as the saga of the Mottram by-pass continues to generate debate and argument.

The election hopefuls requested a further meeting in Glossop to progress discussions on the two Authorities co-ordinated lobbying effort.

The Leader of Tameside Council, Kieran Quinn, and highways Officers, met with current Derbyshire Councillors and candidates to discuss overcoming what were described as ‘ongoing and unacceptable delays’ in delivering the much needed bypass for the people of Glossopdale and Tintwistle.

The meeting agreed it was important that there was not a cigarette paper’s difference between the positions of Derbyshire and Tameside, with each authority taking responsibility to cement the terms of the memorandum into the programmes of both the Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse.

The aim of this cross border diplomacy was ensure that representatives of both areas are all on the same page in respect of lobbying for the much needed road transport linking Greater Manchester with Derbyshire and Sheffield.

For over 40 years the lack of a sufficient road, has been the missing link between the North West South Yourkshire and the East Midlands.

It is inconceivable that the much vaunted Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine could proceeed without this vital piece of infrastructure.

On a human level, notwithstanding enviromental considerations of building a highway through an area of outstanding natural beauty, the residents of Mottram, Tinwistle, Glossop and Hollingworth have suffered pollution and congestion for too long and deserve relief from unacceptably high volumes of traffic.

Becki Woods, Labour’s candidate for Hadfield said that the people of Tintwistle have suffered for too long from the noise and poor air quality caused by heavy lorries passing through the village.

A Mottram only by-pass will not solve the problems of Tintwistle and Hollingworth and is acceptable only if there’s evidence of a long term plan to alleviate congestion on both sides of the border in both Hollingworth and Tintwistle,” she said.

Cllr Damien Greenhalgh, undertook to talk to decision takers in Matlock and in the East Midlands to ensure that the importance of the scheme was fully accepted and that nothing would prevent it going ahead at the earliest convenience.

Members also agreed to take a closer look at the tunnel proposals for a trans- Pennine road and rail route and to work together to try to ensure the chosen route was that which is closest to Tameside.

Councillor Kieran Quinn, Tameside Council Leader a long time supporter of a Trans-Pennine tunnel as part of a Manchester Sheffield link is also a vocal advocate of the Northern Powerhouse concept and regional devolution.

He wants big regional city areas to be able to decide the way they spend their money, targeting infrastructure and investments projects that have been overlooked by successive governments.

Speaking about the recent meetings he said, “Joint working between our two authorities is the best way to ensure that we get a solution that solves the congestion problems on both sides of the border. These meetings have been very productive in agreeing how to co-ordinate our approach.”

Both the Derbyshire and Tameside contingents agreed that they would work through a number of possible options together in seeking to draw up the Memorandum of Understanding between the two Authorities with a target date for an agreement in mid-June.

Last year the Department for Transport unveiled five different possible tunnel routes to link the M1 with the M67 or M60. However at this stage the proposed tunnel options at a projected cost of £9 billion are far from a reality.

Plans for a Mottram by-pass have been in existence since the early 1930s so nobody either side of the border is holding their breath, but if the longest and largest motorway project does get the green light these pre- project negotiations may serve to hurry the process along.