Drivers have been battling gridlock carnage across Glossop and parts of Tameside this week as major roadwork projects clash with one another. The A57 Mottram Moor, in Tameside, is currently three weeks into a huge five-month scheme to install a new gas pipeline.
Lane closures are in place along the road, between Market Street in Hollingworth and Stalybridge Road in Mottram – while Back Moor is currently closed southbound, affecting traffic heading from Stalybridge towards Glossop and Sheffield. It’s already one of Greater Manchester’s most congested areas, with residents having previously told the Manchester Evening News of windows shaking and heavy traffic backed up along the route, while a campaign for a bypass has been rumbling on for decades.
But now even more roadworks in next-door Glossop are adding to drivers’ misery. Temporary traffic lights are currently in place on Marple Road, in Charlesworth, which drivers had been using as a way into Greater Manchester while avoiding Mottram – while work is also due to get underway on the A57 in Glossop town centre.
Glossop resident Steve Mycroft told the M.E.N. that Facebook has been awash with ‘pleas for help from people who have been unable to leave their drives, attend medical appointments and get their children to school’. He said on Tuesday: “It’s reached fever pitch.”
Robert Largan, Conservative MP for High Peak, has previously spoken out about the Mottram roadworks. He says he has been inundated with reports of congestion affecting his constituents this week.
In a post on Facebook, he wrote: “So many people have been raising the current traffic chaos around Glossop, as a result of the gasworks on Mottram Moor. As you’ll know, these gasworks are expected to take five months to complete.
“As a result, Mottram Moor is down to one lane, making it even more gridlocked than usual. To make matters worse, road surface dressing work is also being carried out this week locally.
“Several weeks ago, I did call on the council to apply common sense and avoid doing this at the same time as the gasworks on Mottram Moor. Frustratingly, my warnings were ignored by the council and – as a result – we’re seeing total traffic chaos now.
“I’m pushing for urgent action to try and get traffic flowing again. I’m also urging both councils (Derbyshire and Tameside) to actually talk to each other and co-ordinate roadworks much more carefully.”
In a further post last night, Mr Largan said he had asked Electricity North West – which is running the Marple Road works – to ‘push back’ any work it can. The project had been expected to run until May 4, but Electricity North West says the road will now be fully reopened on Thursday.
Cadent gas company says it had tried to negotiate with landowners on a different route for the new gas pipeline, but could not reach an agreement and now has to install it under roads instead. The new pipeline will serve around 2,500 in the Glossop area, while it will also be used to transport hydrogen in future.
The work set to last until August – and Cadent says it ‘liaised over many months’ with National Highways, Transport for Greater Manchester and Tameside Council ‘to minimise disruption’. Drivers are asked to find an alternative route if they can.
Meanwhile, Derbyshire County Council says any works taking place in the area need carrying out urgently. A council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the traffic issues in Glossop which have been caused by the planned long-term utility works by Cadent in Mottram happening at the same time as necessary electrical works in Charlesworth.
“Regrettably the combination has resulted in a knock-on effect to routes in and out of Glossop as people try to avoid the works in Mottram by going through Charlesworth. We are liaising with the utility companies and colleagues at Tameside Council to see if anything can be done to alleviate the issues over the next few days until the work in Charlesworth ends on May 4.
“Works we have planned in Glossop over the next few days are all necessary including mending a damaged drain on the B6105 and preparation for surface dressing in the centre which will be done in the evening, and United Utilities have a burst main on Cross Cliffe which needs urgent work. We apologise for the inconvenience but emergency repairs and other urgent work have to be carried out to prevent more serious issues in the long-term.”
A spokesperson for Electricity North West added: “The work is for a new connection to the network on behalf of a customer. We aim to finish the engineering works today (Wednesday) and will reinstate the road surface to allow it to re-open by Thursday.”