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Road refused; good news for sustainable transport

20 June 2007
Campaign group Transport 2000 [1] today welcomed news that the Department for Transport has refused to fund an £860-million road scheme near Stockport.[2]

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council had bid to the department for £860 million PFI credits to construct a 25-kilometre road scheme, including a north-south A6 bypass for Stockport, and Poynton in Cheshire, plus a Manchester Airport link road. In a letter to the council turning down the road, Gillian Merron MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, said the key issue was the affordability of the scheme.

Rebecca Lush, Transport 2000`s Roads and Climate Campaigner, welcomed the decision:

"The Department for Transport is to be congratulated for taking the low-carbon option. The £860 million that would have been blown on this scheme can now be put into public transport solutions this area needs, benefiting the area and making it easier for people to leave their cars at home. With Manchester looking most likely to be one of the first areas to trial road pricing, investment in world class public transport is critical to make the pricing scheme succeed, and to get emissions and congestion down."

Transport 2000 has been supporting local campaign group Stockport Against the Bypass in its efforts to find sustainable transport solutions for Greater Manchester.

Notes to Editors

[1] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

[2] Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council has reacted with ‘fury’ to the road refusal: http://www.stockport.gov.uk/content/newsroom/latestnews/furyatdelay?a=5441

The borough council’s press release says the road would have cost £433 million but in a Parliamentary debate on 6 June 2006, Gillian Merron said the scheme would be double that price: “The authorities’ latest estimate of the PFI credit funding requirement for the SEMMMS road scheme is about £860 million, which covers both construction and future capital maintenance.”: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm060606/halltext/60606h0135.htm