Snake Pass at 200: New bypass could lead to 160 more accidents a year, says campaigner

Your editorial (Telegraph August 19) celebrating 200 years of the Snake Pass was most timely.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 3:23 pm
Updated Friday, 27th August 2021, 3:25 pm
Icy conditions on the Snake Pass near Sheffield.

At the western end of the route a traffic nightmare could soon unfold with a revamped Mottram bypass and Glossop Spur on the eastern edge of Manchester.

It would increase traffic through the Peak District National Park, cause more road collisions, worsen the climate and nature emergencies, cut the Tameside Green Belt in two and harm local well-being.

The benefits to Mottram come at the expense of the rest of Longdendale and Glossopdale where traffic increases on many residential roads.

Coupled with these traffic increases, road accidents would increase across the network.

However, on the A57 Snake Pass, a high risk road for a fatal or serious injury crash as your readers know, there would be 160 extra collisions over 60 years.

Are we really wanting to travel a few minutes faster at the expense of lives lost?

The scheme would also add to climate damage by adding an extra 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 60 years.

The scheme was first proposed in 2015; since then, the urgency to address climate change has increased - now we must meet carbon net zero by 2050.

Many local authorities, including Sheffield, have set much earlier net zero targets of 2030.

The transport sector is the most polluting part of the UK economy and road cars make up the largest proportion of the sector’s emissions.

It is therefore essential to reduce car dependency and offer alternative travel options for everyone. Providing more road capacity by building new roads will only make things worse.

Especially important to Sheffield ‘The Outdoor City’ are the impacts on the Peak District National Park.

The Park is designated as a haven for wildlife and a place where everyone can get outdoors and enjoy nature, peace and quiet and also a significant bank of carbon.

With more traffic on cross Park routes these special qualities will be eroded.

CPRE instead propose a lorry ban coupled with sustainable transport measures and technological improvements.

This would bring lasting benefits to local communities along the A628 and A57 and avoid many adverse impacts.

Highways England have rejected this option but far reaching changes since 2015 − the declaration of a climate emergency; the Covid-19 pandemic; and a review of the Treasury’s rules to assess the value of roads − now make scrutiny of this option essential.

Only if such measures fail should we be considering new roads.

Obviously your readers will make their own minds up, but at the very least should have their say on the future of this crucial trans-Pennine route.

Anne Robinson


CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire

No more motorways! Was last week’s editorial about the Snake Pass seriously suggesting we should build another M62 a bit further south?

If we are to have a cat in hell’s chance of keeping global heating within 1.5 degrees we must stop building roads. Think of the carbon footprint involved in the construction of even a dual carriageway route. It is a proven fact that so called “road improvements”, such as the work done on Sheffield’s inner ring road, alleviate congestion in the short term but

only serve to encourage even more use by private cars and goods vehicles.

What is needed is a major shift of goods traffic from road to rail. We should be pressing for the promised levelling up funding to concentrate on improvements to East-West rail connectivity in the north of England. Is it really not feasible to give serious consideration to re-opening the old LNER line via the Woodhead tunnel? I recall this route being given

priority over the Hope Valley Line back in the 1950s. It is scandalous that it was abandoned not long afterwards. It would be much better

value than HS2!

Jenny Carpenter

7 Banner Court

Tullibardine Road

It still baffles me that the main routes between 2 of the UK’s biggest cities are basically tracks that are cut off during bad weather.

Darren O’ Brien