About the Scheme

 The A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road Scheme provides 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) of new 2-lane dual carriageway on an east-west route from the A6 near Hazel Grove (south east Stockport), via the 4 kilometres of existing A555 to Manchester Airport and the link road to the M56. The scheme has been developed by Stockport Council working with its partners, Manchester City Council, Cheshire East Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

The scheme bypasses heavily-congested district and local centres, including Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme, Hazel Grove, Handforth, Poynton, Wythenshawe, Gatley and Heald Green.

It provides much-needed connectivity for key strategic routes into the North West and to Manchester Airport, including traffic from the A6, A523 and A34 – all of which are key routes for business, leisure travel and freight from Cheshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and beyond.

The scheme incorporates 7 new and 4 improved junctions, 4 railway crossings and a parallel shared cycle/pedestrian path.

The segregated pedestrian and cycle route adjacent to the new road and the existing length of the A555, provides a new link for the strategic cycle/pedestrian network. This new link fully integrates with the existing local cycle and pedestrian network to maximise access to the new route and therefore the benefits associated with the scheme. This route is intended for both commuting and leisure use.

It has been a priority to minimise any disruption to Public Rights of Way that are affected by the scheme and, where possible, to improve them. However, some routes have been diverted to ensure safe crossing points to the new road are created.

View a plan showing the latest design for the scheme (PDF 5.08Mb) as submitted for planning.

To find out more about how environmental factors have been considered as part of the scheme development, visit the Environmental Assessment page.

Why the scheme is needed
There is currently no direct east-west transport link through south east Greater Manchester and Cheshire East. The lack of this connection is contributing to congestion on major and minor roads. This means that people and goods cannot move easily, directly and efficiently. The congestion being created is constraining the local economy, affecting air quality in local areas and reducing access to key destinations. These problems will become significantly worse in the future if no action is taken. The A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road has been identified as the best solution to address this problem, as part of the overall SEMMMS Strategy.
The objectives
The objectives, as set out in the Business Case, of the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road are to: Increase employment and generate economic growth: provide efficient surface access and improved connectivity to, from and between Manchester Airport, local, town and district centres, and key areas of development and regeneration (e.g. Manchester Airport Enterprise Zone); Boost business integration and productivity: improve the efficiency and reliability of the highway network, reduce the conflict between local and strategic traffic, and provide an improved route for freight and business travel; Promote fairness through job creation and the regeneration of local communities: reduce severance and improve accessibility to, from and between key centres of economic and social activity; Reduce the impact of traffic congestion on local businesses and communities; Improve the safety of road users, pedestrians and cyclists: reduce the volume of through-traffic from residential areas and retail centres; and Support lower carbon travel: reallocate road space and seek other opportunities to provide improved facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. By improving access to south east Manchester and Cheshire East, the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road will benefit communities and the local economy. The following is a summary of the key benefits:
  • Economic growth generating additional economic output for the region of up to £2.5 billion and contributing towards the creation of up to 5,000 new jobs;
  • Better access to Manchester Airport and other key destinations for employment, education, health, leisure and retail;
  • Less traffic on local roads – reducing congestion on local roads in surrounding areas;
  • Shorter journey times for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users, car drivers and freight;
  • Improved road safety, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists by reducing the volume of traffic passing through residential areas; and
  • Increased investment encouraged in Manchester Airport and Airport City as well as areas of Stockport, Cheshire East and Manchester.
Funding has been secured through a combination of £165 million of specific Department for Transport capital grant, £105 million of additional capital grant funding from the Government through the Earn Back model, and £20 million of Local Transport Plan (LTP) funding. The GMCA described the Earn Back model as follows: “A radical Earn back model where the government has agreed in principle that up to £1.2 billion invested up front in infrastructure improvements by Greater Manchester will be ‘paid back’ to the combined authority as real economic growth is seen. This is the first tax increment finance-style Scheme in England outside London. “These ‘earned back’ funds will be reinvested in further infrastructure improvements to allow Greater Manchester to reach its economic potential. The first phase of this will include the completion of the Greater Manchester Transport Fund programme, enabling the early implementation of Schemes including the South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy (SEMMMS) and the extension of Metrolink to Trafford Park.”
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