Road building plans in the Peak District National Park slammed

We’ve added our voice to the concerns about major road building plans in the Peak District. It follows a call by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for improvements to the A628 Woodhead Pass to improve connectivity between Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds.

Ruth Bradshaw, policy and research manager, said:”This proposals completely goes against the Government’s own policy on road building in National Parks and would cause huge damnage to England’s oldest National Park.”

“The current policy on presumption against development is set out in the UK Government Vision and Circular for English National Parks and the Broads 2010 which states that there is a strong presumption against any significant road widening or the building of new roads through a Park, unless it can be shown thare are compelling reasons for  new or enhanced capacity and with any benefits outweighing the costs very significantly. Any investment in trunk roads should be directed to developing routes for long-distance traffic which avoid the Parks.”

Friends of the Peak District have commissioned research from the Metropolitan Transport Research Unit (MTRU) that shows connectivity can be significantly improved without the need for damaging new road building. However, MTRU’s proposed alternative demand managment package including routing HGVs via the M62 and other “smarter choices” has been rejected by the Government’s own WebTAG guidance.

Andy Tickle, Director of Friends of the Peak District, said: “We are solidly behind measures that will improve journey times across the Pennines but the best way to do this is by considering road and rail holistically. Resurrecting this tired and unsustainable road scheme will do little to help whilst causing immense damage to the Peak District National Park.”