Mixed reaction over congestion-cutting bypass between Sheffield and Manchester
Plans for a new congestion-cutting bypass between Sheffield and Manchester have sparked a mixed reaction - with motorists torn over whether it is 'long overdue' or a 'waste of money'.
Highways England last week announced its preferred route for the A57 Mottram bypass, which will include a link from the M67 terminal roundabout to a new junction at A57(T) Mottram Moor and a link from there to a new junction on the A57 at Brookfield.
It is part of £242 million worth of improvements to help people travelling along the vital Manchester to Sheffield Trans-Pennine route and transport bosses claim it will "cut congestion and improve safety."
Some motorists agreed while others believe it will only serve to move the congestion onto other roads.
Sheffield resident Jim Graham said: "About time - and about 40 years too late."
Mike Halliwell added: "The residents on Hyde Road have been campaigning for this for decades - bring it on."
Mark Power is "cautiously optimistic" over the plans, while Stuart Burton said it is "definitely needed."
But one motorist, who did not want to be named, believes "all it is going to do though is shift congestion further back into Glossop."
Simon Geller said: "It wasn't approved previously because studies showed that it would just move the jam over to the eastern side of the Pennines. That evidence is being ignored.
"The freight needs to be moved to rail - a lot of it is going from Ireland to Europe via Liverpool and Immingham docks."
Sheila Moor added: "Will not make a scrap of difference, A57 still a bad road and Woodhead not much better, plus it will take years to do and cause major disruption whilst being built, then of course it will have to have ongoing repairs for another 10 plus years after that."
Carl Sellars believes it is just "another half-hearted attempt at resolving a major issue" and described it as a "complete waste of money."
Highways England said the route was chosen as about half of the 900 people who took part in a public consultation earlier this year were in support of that option.
In addition to the bypass, there will also be improvements to Westwood roundabout at Tankersley in South Yorkshire which links the A61 and A616, and would do further work to refine options for the dualling of the A61 between Westwood roundabout and the M1.
The proposed route will be presented in a statutory consultation next year with a plan to start construction in early 2020.
Plans for climbing lanes on the A628 between Barnsley and Manchester are also being considered further following the public consultation.