Want a full and open consultation on the A57 Link Roads?

By Julie Gough
7th June 2021

 

 

Highways England undertook a deeply flawed consultation on the A57 Link Roads in Nov-
Dec 2020. In June Highways England will make its application for a Development Consent
Order for the A57 Link Roads. The Planning Inspectorate then has 28 days in which to decide
whether or not to accept the application. We are urging it to reject it.

The decision will be based on whether or not Highways England undertook the consultation
as it said it would in its Statement of Community Consultation. We believe it did not (see
below) and that consultation was inadequate. The consultation should have been
postponed until the vaccine roll-out was complete and all the information about the impacts
of the scheme was available.

Local councils have to write an Adequacy of Consultation report once the application is
submitted, which will inform the Planning Inspectorate’s decision. If you think the
consultation was inadequate and want a full consultation with all the evidence available,
then you should write to High Peak Borough Council Neil.Rodgers@highpeak.gov.uk,
copying the Planning Inspectorate, A57LinkRoads@planninginspectorate.gov.uk and quoting
A57 Link Roads TR010034. You should write as soon as possible and by mid-June at the
latest.

Any questions or if you need further information please contact CPRE PDSY –
mail@cprepeakandsyorks.org.uk

Here are the questions we asked to show how consultation with the local community was
inadequate.

Were special arrangements made, as claimed, for holding the consultation during a
national lockdown for the pandemic?
No – The arrangements for and the length of the
2020 consultation were the same as the 2018 consultation. The only difference was the
webinars which replaced public exhibitions.

Was material sent over a ‘wide area’?
No – Padfield and Old Glossop; Matley and
communities further north alongside the A6108 to Stalybridge; Crowden, Langsett and
other communities alongside the A628 trunk route were not sent the brochure, yet all
would be impacted by changes to traffic flows. The Stalybridge communities would not
have been alerted to the key change to the plans, the removal of infrastructure at Roe
Cross.

Were hard copies of all documents available as promised in 4 outlets?
No – Only 3
cramped locations were open. Bradbury House was closed throughout the lockdown.

Were the needs of people without access to the internet met?
No – Three non- interactive webinars are no substitute for the 6 public exhibitions held in 2018 where
people heard the views of others, discussed informally, and scrutinised large scale maps
and plans.

Were the ‘frequently asked questions’ sent out with the brochure as promised? No

Was it clear what was being consulted on? No – Some respondents assumed the
scheme formed part of a road upgrade across the Pennines; others thought that the
bypass included Hollingworth and Tintwistle.

Was there a solution for Hollingworth and Tintwistle?
No – This serious omission has been raised at each consultation on the Mottram bypass but Highways England declared it ‘is unable to resolve’ it. Through the webinars it refused to engage with solutions for
Hollingworth and Tintwistle where traffic flows would increase and speed up.

Was there sufficient information to understand the impact of the Link Roads?
No – The environmental statement was work in progress. No transport assessment or traffic
modelling was supplied. This led High Peak and Derbyshire Councils, and the Peak Park
Authority to make holding objections to the scheme.

 Did the brochure supply all the necessary information? No – Despite the climate
emergency carbon emissions, which would increase with the scheme, were not
mentioned.

Any questions or if you need further information please contact CPRE PDSY –
mail@cprepeakandsyorks.org.uk

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