Relief Road needed now!

June 27, 2007 3:20 PM
Traffic jam in Bramhall

Relief Road is needed to stop traffic now

After a wait of four years, the Government has delayed yet again a decision on completing the SEMMMS (South East Manchester Multi-Modal Study)/A555 relief road (which includes the completion MAELR (Manchester Airport Eastern Link Road), construction of a Poynton bypass and a new A6 Hazel Grove bypass).

The Transport Minister Gillian Merron last week wrote to Mr Hunter stating that in her opinion the option to fund the scheme via PFI (Private Finance Initiative) credits was now no longer possible. She also stated that the decision on the implementation of this scheme would be further delayed until later in 2007, and after the completion of the comprehensive spending review.

Speaking after receiving this letter Mr Hunter said: "It is bitterly disappointing that the Minister has thrown away four years' work and planning when what local residents wanted to hear was an announcement of the immediate go ahead for the A555 . The PFI scheme was developed because the Government wanted it, so this decision is very hard to understand.

It is now important to explore all other ways of paying for the road, and the fact that the Minister is instructing civil servants to discuss with Stockport Council the possibility of 'phasing' the construction of the relief road is certainly better than out-right cancellation, which would have left local communities beset by ever-worsening congestion.

For our part, we are now seeking an urgent meeting with the new Transport Minister expected to take over when Gordon Brown becomes Prime Minister, and emphasise yet again the desperate need for this relief road. Residents across Cheadle and Hazel Grove have suffered long enough from congested roads and an early completion of the A555 relief road is what they need and deserve."

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