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George Osborne dismisses plans put forward by residential group for A556 alternative
A NEW road will not be built at junction 20 of the M6 as an alternative to the current bypass plans for the A556, according to Knutsford’s MP.
A month ago residents in Millington, Rostherne, High Legh and Tabley, unveiled a plan in opposition to the proposed A556 bypass that would take motorway traffic to junction 20.
The group had hired a firm of traffic consultants to draw up the plans, and hoped to sway the minds of Highways Agency officials who consulted on the £170 million bypass scheme for the road earlier this year.
But Chancellor George Osborne told the Guardian the junction 20 scheme put forward by the group was a ‘lot more expensive’ and ‘wouldn’t work’.
He said: “I’ve spoken to the roads minister recently but my view is this – I’ve been the MP here for 11 years, and in all of those 11 years the traffic on the A556 has been a problem and people have banded around different schemes.
“But the proof is that I took a close look at the junction 20 approach a few years ago and I spent many, many months looking at all the details of it and came to the conclusion that ultimately it wouldn’t work.
“It’s a lot more expensive and it won’t necessarily stop people from cutting the corner.
“It’s a much longer journey to go all the way round and so people would still rat-run either through the A556 or come up on the A50, but they would come through Knutsford and the other communities to cut the corner into Manchester.”
He believed the Highways Agency proposal was the correct one and highlighted the success of the Alderley Edge bypass.
“It will affect some local communities, but we’ve now got to work to make sure the environmental impact is minimised,” he said.
“I do look at the Alderley Edge bypass – people did worry about that before it was built and now it is built it has transformed the village and brought life back to the village.
“We can either spend another 10 years talking about it or we can get the improvements to the A556 done.”
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