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New bypass is showcased with community open day.

Matthew Corrigan

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A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road Stockport Council Brookside Garden Centre Marple

It's been a long time coming, but the new A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road is about to open. The project has not been without controversy. Construction began in early 2015 and long-suffering High Lane residents have put up with more than three years of construction work and its associated noise and inconvenience. The road has been designed to provide an East/West link across the conurbation, with the aim of removing traffic from already heavily congested routes. Various mitigation measures have been considered to try to ensure projected traffic increases have a minimal impact on the village.

Last week, Stockport Council confirmed the road will open on Monday October 15. Ahead of this, residents were invited to attend a 'community day', at which they were able to have a look at the road in circumstances that will likely never be repeated. 

A6 bypass

On Sunday, visitors were able to join the bypass where it meets the A6 at Simpson's corner. From here it was just a short walk or cycle to Macclesfield Road, where a new junction has been built beside Brookside Garden Centre. An array of classic cars lined the roadside, with everything from vintage Rolls Royces to Austin Minis on display. 

The day began with a fully subscribed 5K road race for runners and wheelchair competitors. Between 11:00 and 3:00 a Sky 'Let's Ride' bicycle event was held. Representatives from British Cycling were on hand to offer advice and encouragement. This proved very popular indeed, with hundreds of cyclists out to take advantage of the empty road. Younger children were able to ride around a small obstacle course and there were refreshments on offer throughout. The day was attended by Stockport's Mayor and Signal Cheshire provided a musical backdrop throughout.

A6 bypass

At 3:00 a great rumbling was heard as the massed cars all started their engines. Gradually, they moved into position and set off in an organised parade along the pristine tarmac.

With the rain holding off, the event was very well attended, giving local people an insight into what has been happening behind the vast mounds of excavated earth. The road will “make a massive difference,” said Caroline Simpson, Corporate Director for Place at Stockport Council. 

Not universally popular, there is still disquiet within the community. The effects on traffic in and around High Lane are as yet unknown, and will be seen in the coming months and years.

Photo credit: Louise Robertson. For more photos visit our gallery.