MP 'delighted' with bypass approval

4:00pm Tuesday 2nd September 2014

By James Wilson

KNUTSFORD'S MP has said he is 'delighted' that plans for the A556 bypass had been approved.

The plans for a new bypass were first revealed in early 2009 with modifications coming six months later.

In March 2010 the final route was chosen, with residents in the area consulted on the plans.

George Osborne, MP for Tatton, had met with opponents to the scheme on various occasions since the plans were first announced.

He told the Guardian that constituents had been calling for changes on the road and said he wanted to make sure the impact on residents in the area would be kept to a minimum.

"I was delighted to hear that the Department for Transport granted consent for work to begin on the much-needed improvements to the A556," he said.

"Many of my constituents have long been calling for changes to this congested and sometimes dangerous road. My priority now is ensuring that the impact of the works on local residents is kept to a minimum."

Clr Steve Wilkinson, ward member for High Legh at Cheshire East Council, said

"I've found myself between the devil and the deep blue sea," he said.

"I've got the residents in Mere who are living on it now who want some relief from it and the people out in Millington and rural Mere who are not too pleased about it at all because it is spoiling the untouched countryside.

"It has been a difficult one and clearly the Secretary of State feels it is needed.

"We have seen so many plans and alterations with this road. The traffic would suggest a need for it and this plan is probably the best compromise if that is what it is."

Mere Parish Council met on Monday (September 1) evening to discuss the decision and what will happen next in regards to the 'detrunking' of the current A556.

The new bypass will have a speed limit of 60mph, which campaigners said shows the government was concerned about air pollution caused by the new road.

Sian Berry, Roads and Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport, said the decision would cause 'huge damage' to the area.

"This scheme will cause huge damage to the Green Belt, and increase air pollution across a wide area affecting many parts of Manchester as well as homes in the immediate area," she said.

"However, the decision to limit the speed on the new dual carriageway to 60mph at least shows that Government cannot ignore the effect of air pollution on people's health."

What do you think about the new A556? Email yourviews@guardiangrp.co.uk or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

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