Government looks into Pennine bypass

A Government minister has commissioned a feasibilty study to consider the the trans-Pennine route between Manchester and Sheffield.

Chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, ordered the report into the problems and solutions of the proposed bypass following talks with local MPs Andrew Bingham and Jonathan Reynolds.

Mr Bingham, who represents High Peak, said: “I’ve been pushing the issue of a bypass for three years in Westminster, hammering home to ministers at every opportunity that the residents and businesses here in the Glossopdale area are in desperate need of a bypass.

“I’m therefore pleased that ministers have taken on board what I’ve been telling them – that there is a major problem here. The Government is now taking seriously the traffic problems which not only badly affect the residents of Tintwistle and the wider Glossopdale area, but also stifle growth in the area.

“Obviously I would prefer the money for a bypass, but everything has to start somewhere, and this feasibility study is a real chance to put the case for a bypass. I hope that it will prove to the powers that be the overwhelming need for something to be done.”

He added: “Although this announcement is very welcome, I will not rest until a bypass is built, and I’ll continue to put pressure on the Government over this, as well as continuing to work with stakeholders here in Glossop and the High Peak to do whatever we can locally to make a bypass happen.”

The road, which would link Mottram and Tintwistle, will cost an estimated half a billion pounds.

It is not known how long the study will take to complete.

Emily Fox, transport policy manager for the Peak District National Park, said: “Any feasibility study would have to take into account the location of the road, and therefore options explored should be appropriate for a National Park setting.”