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.
In summer 2010 the funding allocations were removed following the Comprehensive Funding Review. Officers are continuing to discuss an alternative spending package.