How the scheme will affect the local area

The local environment

A wide variety of environmental features both within the scheme area and its surroundings have been studied throughout the development of the proposals including the potential impact on people, wildlife, plants and the landscape.

The information and data gathered and subsequent environmental analyses has then been used to inform development of the scheme design, where possible, avoiding key environmental constraints.

This is an on-going process that will continue as the proposals develop to ensure that potential environmental impacts that may be associated with the proposals are identified and assessed.

The process also provides an opportunity for improvements to the local environment to be included within the scheme design, for example landscaping or wildlife habitats.

A detailed Environmental Impact Assessment will report the findings in a document known as an Environmental Statement, prior to the submission of a planning application in summer 2013.

Noise

The introduction of the proposed scheme will bring about a change to traffic flow patterns in the area. This will result in changes to noise levels depending on the scheme options that are chosen. The indicative noise levels for 2017 have been estimated and are shown on the plan as potential noise contours with a scheme in place.

The noise difference plan shows the predicted change in noise levels in 2017 with a scheme in place. This shows areas where noise levels are predicted to increase or decrease with the new Relief Road built.

As a result of identifying a preferred scheme actual noise levels and changes to noise levels will most likely change depending on the details of the scheme selected. The updated information will be available as part of the second phase of consultation from spring 2013.

From this, mitigation measures to avoid, reduce or compensate impacts will be identified and evaluated. These include, for example, low noise surfacing on the road to minimise the impacts of road traffic noise, sound bundling or fences.

Air Quality

The introduction of the proposed scheme will result in traffic flow changes on parts of the existing road network. This will result in changes to local air quality.  The focus of the assessment work to date has been on Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).  The indicative impacts on key measurement points in the vicinity of the scheme are shown on the Air Quality Plan.

As a result of identifying a preferred scheme there will most likely be changes to local air quality depending on the details of the scheme selected. The updated information will be available as part of the second phase of consultation from spring 2013.

Public Rights of Way

A number of Public Rights of Way (PRoW) including footpaths and bridleways, along the proposed route will be affected by the construction of the road. It is planned to retain all Public Rights of Way, to minimise disruption to routes and where possible to improve them.

However, some PRoW will require to be diverted to ensure safe crossing points of the new road are created.  New pedestrian and cycle facilities are being proposed along the entire length of the scheme, which will be integrated with existing Public Rights of Way and existing dedicated cycle routes.

Local Roads and Traffic

The scheme comprises two sections of new dual two lane carriageways. The first section is approximately 5km in length, starting from a realigned section of the A6 at Hazel Grove, and extending west to the existing A555 at Woodford Road, Bramhall.

The second new section is approximately 4km in length and is an extension of the existing A555 that currently terminates at Wilmslow Road. The scheme continues in a westerly direction crossing Styal Road and heading towards Manchester Airport. The scheme utilises the entire length of the existing A555 which is approximately 4 km in length.

The scheme will reduce congestion on some local roads in the surrounding areas. However, it is recognised that some areas will see some increases in traffic. Traffic modelling has been carried out to identify changes in traffic flows on key routes in the vicinity of the scheme.

The introduction of the proposed scheme will result in changes to traffic flow patterns in and around the south of Greater Manchester and east Cheshire with some traffic that currently uses local roads transferred onto the new Relief Road. We have carried out traffic modelling of the scheme proposals in order to predict changes in traffic flows on an average day in 2017 (the predicted opening year of the scheme).

The plan shows traffic flows for 2009 at each location and shows the predicted traffic flows for the year 2017 without any changes to the road network and by comparison, with the Relief Road in place. For each location the plan highlights where the traffic flow is predicted to change up or down by more than 3% with the Relief Road in place.  The figures may be subject to change once the preferred design for the scheme is chosen.

As a result of identifying a preferred scheme there will most likely be changes to the predicted traffic flows. The updated information will be available as part of the second phase of consultation from spring 2013.

At present the predicted Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) flows are based on one of the junction options at each junction option location. The choice of junction options included in the assessment does not indicate a preferred scheme. The choice of junction option would not significantly alter the AADT figures shown on the traffic plan.

Traffic modelling has also been undertaken to identify locations affected by the scheme and where complementary and/or mitigation measures should be considered.

A package of mitigation and complementary measures will seek to limit impacts resulting from the scheme; in particular, where traffic flows are forecast to increase. These measures will help secure environmental, safety and social benefits.

Other junctions

In addition to the junction options, improvements will also be made to a number of existing junctions along and in the vicinity of the route.

There are also features, such as the West Coast Mainline, that the scheme will need to cross.  Here is a brief summary of these other junctions and crossings from west to east along the scheme.

Ringway Road / Ringway Road West junction

The scheme will commence to the east of a newly-improved T-junction. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) will construct the junction, installing traffic lights, as part of the current Metrolink extension works.

TfGM and Manchester Airport Group will construct all works between this junction and Outwood Lane and Thorley Lane, prior to commencement of the scheme.

Please use the following link to view a plan of the Ringway Road / Ringway Road West junction (PDF 515Kb)

For further technical drawings and road height plans on the Ringway Road/Ringway Road West junction, please see the pdf documents below:

A555/ B5358 Wilmslow Road/ Scheme junction

West facing slip roads will be added to the half of a diamond junction that was built as part of the existing A555. The scheme will pass under the B5358, using the existing bridge, where there are two small roundabouts (on the B5358) at the top of the slip roads.

Please use the following link to view a plan of the A555/ B5358 Wilmslow Road/ Scheme junction (PDF 470Kb).

For further technical drawings and road height plans on the A555/ B5358 Wilmslow Road junction, please see the pdf documents below:

A555/ A34 junction

The junction will be upgraded to accommodate the changes to the volume and movement of traffic flows following the introduction of the scheme. This includes installation of traffic lights and controlled facilities for pedestrians and cyclists to use.

Please use the following link to view a plan of the A555/ A34 junction (PDF 382Kb).

West Coast Mainline crossing

The scheme passes over the West Coast Mainline (Stockport to Stoke) on a bridge. The embankments on both approaches will be wide and shallow to enable the land to return to the original farming land owners.

The embankments will be visible but the scheme and its traffic will be hidden using earthworks. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross the scheme underneath the rail bridge.

Please use the following link to view a plan of the West Coast Mainline crossing proposal (PDF 324Kb).

A6 Buxton Road/ Scheme junction

The A6 at Hazel Grove is to be realigned to the north east of the existing road to accommodate the Scheme junction with the A6. This location has been selected for a new traffic lights controlled junction due to the proximity of the Hazel Grove to Buxton railway Line.

The junction is located away from the Hazel Grove to Buxton Rail line to enable safe visibility for drivers approaching the junction. T-junctions are proposed on both of the tie in junctions with the A6 Buxton Road. The existing A6 will remain as a local access road for residents with a bus / cycle / pedestrian bridge over the new road constructed.

Please use the following link to view a plan of the A6 Buxton Road/ Scheme junction (PDF 501Kb).

For further technical drawings and road height plans on the A6 Buxton Road junction, please see the pdf documents below:

Street Lighting

For sustainability and environmental reasons, it is proposed to light the junctions along the route only.