SEMMMS Relief Road Scheme

The SEMMMS Relief Road is the combined scheme recommended by the South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy. It consists of the following proposed road schemes:

  • A6 (M)
  • Manchester Airport Eastern Link Road (MAELR) (East) and MAELR (West)
  • Stepping Hill Link Road
  • Poynton Bypass.

From 2001 onwards the three local authorities in the area (Cheshire East, Manchester and Stockport Council developed the SEMMMS Relief Road and they submitted a business case for the scheme in 2004.

In 2007 the Government responded, saying that the scheme should be delivered in phases, with ‘Phase 1’ being the section from the A6 in Hazel Grove to Manchester Airport (the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road, or ‘A6MARR’).

There are now three proposed phases for the scheme:

  • A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR) (along the route of the MAELR (East) and MAELR (West) – Construction of this scheme began in Spring 2015 and is expected to be completed in Autumn 2016. The A6MARR construction pages provide further information on the works underway.
  • Poynton Relief Road
  • A6 to M60 Relief Road (along the route of the A6(M) and incorporating the proposed Stepping Hill Link)

The local authorities remain committed to developing the whole SEMMMS Relief Road scheme. The A6MARR scheme is now on site and a planning application for the Poynton Relief Road is planned to be submitted in Summer 2016. Stockport Council has approved the protected corridor for the A6 to M60 Relief Road.

Previous Environmental Statements

Understanding and mitigating the environmental impact of the scheme is a key element of scheme development and the environmental process is undertaken in parallel with the scheme design.

The Environmental Assessment process informs and contributes to the scheme design process.

For more information, view the SEMMMS Relief Road Environmental Assessment Executive Summary (PDF 217 kb).

Previous Major Scheme Business Case

The SEMMMS Relief Road Major Scheme Business Case was submitted in July 2004 and following discussions with the Department for Transport (DfT) additional work was undertaken on modelling.

The DfT requested that the local authorities considered whether the scheme could be funded from Private Finance Initiative (PFI).  The local authorities explored this option submitting further information to the DfT over the following few years.

In autumn 2008 the Government announced they would contribute up to £165 million from national funds towards the cost of the phase of the scheme from the A6 at Hazel Grove to Manchester Airport without the Poynton Bypass provided that this was matched with local contributions.

However this funding offer was withdrawn in 2010 as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review and discussions are continuing with Government over potential funding packages.

Past Consultations

Consultation on the SEMMMS Relief Road was carried out in Cheshire, Manchester and Stockport during 2003 and 2004 to gauge views on the proposed options for the road scheme.

Detailed consultation was also undertaken with a number of local groups, including groups representing environmentalists, walkers, cyclists and people with disabilities.  This consultation was reported in the Environmental Assessment.

A new communication strategy has been developed which will continue this approach.

SEMMMS Relief Road Scheme History

In July 1998 the Government published a strategic review of the roads programme; ‘A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England’.

This review was undertaken as part of the development of a new integrated transport policy under the transport White Paper ‘A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone’.

In Spring 2001 the South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy (SEMMMS) was accepted by Government and the then Transport Minister requested that the three local authorities Cheshire, Manchester and Stockport start to develop the road scheme recommended in the strategy.

The three local authorities agreed to work together with Stockport leading the scheme development to create a Major Scheme Business Case bid for funding for the SEMMMS Relief Road. This bid was submitted in July 2004.

The Department of Transport requested further information on the traffic modelling which was submitted over the next few months. They also requested that the local authorities considered whether the scheme could be funded from PFI (Private Finance Initiative).

The local authorities explored this option submitting further information to the Department of Transport over the next few years.

In July 2007 a response was received from Government stating that whilst the scheme was a good scheme they could not afford to fund it as a single scheme and requested that we consider delivering it in phases.

The local authorities submitted further information on three potential phases after discussion with DfT officers over the following few months in 2007/2008.

  • M60 to the A6, including the Stepping Hill Link
  • A6 to Manchester Airport with Poynton Bypass
  • A6 to Manchester Airport without Poynton Bypass

In Autumn 2008 the Government announced they would contribute up to £165 million from national funds towards the cost of the phase of the scheme from the A6 at Hazel Grove to Manchester Airport without the Poynton Bypass if that was matched with local contributions. The scheme cost was estimated at £330 million.

In May 2009 the Leaders of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) agreed to create a Greater Manchester transport fund of over £1.5 billion to fund key projects including a contribution of £125m towards the SEMMMS Relief Road A6 to the Airport. Local Authority officers had indicated that following a review £290m would be sufficient to build this scheme.