June 2010: New MPs pledge to work together for bypass
Following their election a month earlier, High Peak MP Andrew Bingham and Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds vowed to work together to highlight the need for a solution to the traffic problems in Longdendale and Glossop.
Andrew said: “Everyone knows that there is little money available at the moment, but what Jonathan and I have agreed is that we will try and lift the issue up the agenda so that when money does become available it is at or near the front of the queue of priorities.
“My constituents in Glossop and Tintwistle suffer greatly from the traffic problems and I believe it is also hampering the local economy in the town too.”
November 2010: Andrew asks question about traffic at Prime Minister’s Questions
Andrew Bingham MP was called to ask a question at PMQs, and used the opportunity to raise the traffic problems with the PM.
Afterwards, Andrew said: "I was pleased to get the opportunity to raise the issue with the Prime Minister in PMQs. He did say that there is money being spent on transport schemes, and I will keep pushing hard for a solution to our traffic issues to be one of them.”
“Rest assured I will not let this go, and I will continue to impress on the Secretary of State for Transport the urgent need for a solution.”
December 2010: Andrew secures Parliamentary debate about bypass
Andrew managed to secure a debate in the House of Commons about the bypass, which took place in late December 2010.
With the Transport Minister present, Andrew spoke passionately for 15 minutes, detailing the history of the plans for a bypass; highlighting the large amounts of traffic the road has to cope with; explaining the hugely detrimental effects the traffic has on residents and businesses in Glossop and the surrounding villages; and forcefully pressing home the need for a bypass to be built as soon as possible.
After the debate, Andrew said: “I was disappointed to hear that nothing can be done at the moment, but it was what I expected. I am pleased however that the Minister accepted my invitation to visit the area and see the situation for himself.
“I will keep on applying pressure and at least now the Prime Minister and the Transport Minister know all about our road problems.”
January 2011: Meeting with Longdendale Siege Committee
High Peak Conservative MP Andrew Bingham and Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds met with members of the Longdendale Siege Committee to discuss their efforts to secure a solution to the traffic problem.
Commenting afterwards, Andrew said, "It was good to meet with the committee again, so that I could update them on everything I’ve been doing to bring the need for a bypass to the attention of ministers. I’ve said before that I won’t let the matter rest. I will keep up the pressure in London, and do everything I can to help the Bypass Committee here.”
May 2011: Transport Minister visits Tintwistle
Andrew welcomed the Transport Minister, Norman Baker, to Tintwistle to see the traffic for himself.
Andrew said afterwards: “The Minister listened carefully to what local people had to say, and although he obviously couldn’t promise anything, he advised us that the best way forward is to for us to work together locally so that we have full proposals for a bypass ready for the next spending review."
2012: Meetings organised by Andrew to keep the issue on the radar
Meetings were held throughout 2012 to bring together MPs, local councils, agencies and other stakeholders, to discuss the issues surrounding the bypass.
Andrew said after the first meeting: “The fact that all these organisations came together for the first time in several years, if ever, was heartening in itself, and the positive attitude that was evident gives me hope that we can make some real progress at last.
“As a group we have agreed a way forward and whilst I understand the frustrations of local people that yet again there are talks and more talks without the bypass being built, both Jonathan Reynolds and I, as new MPs, are determined and united on pushing this forward the best way we can."
June 2013: Trans-Pennine Feasibility Study announced
After constant pressure from Andrew Bingham since he was elected, including a private meeting with the Chancellor at 11 Downing Street, a feasibility study was announced to consider problems and solutions on trans-Pennine routes between Manchester and Sheffield.
Andrew said at the time: “I’m pleased that Ministers have taken on board what I’ve been telling them – that there is a major problem here. The announcement of a study into trans-pennine routes shows that the Government is now taking seriously the traffic problems which not only badly affect the residents of Glossop and the wider area, but also stifle growth in the area.
“Obviously I would prefer the money for a bypass, but everything has to start somewhere, and this feasibility study is a real chance to put the case for a bypass. I hope that it will prove to the powers that be the overwhelming need for something to be done.”
January 2014: More details emerge about Trans-Pennine Study
More details of the scope of the Trans-Pennine Study emerged in January. It was announced that, as part of the Government’s Action for Roads strategy, the study would look at congestion on the roads along the Trans-Pennine route - including the A57 through Glossop and the A628 through Mottram, Hollingworth and Tintwistle - and try to identify potential solutions.
Andrew said at the time: "I want to assure Glossop motorists that, although it might sometimes seem like nothing much is happening, I am continually pushing the case down in Westminster. I will not rest until a bypass is built, and will continue to do everything I can to make a bypass happen."
February 2014: First Trans-Pennine Feasibility Study meeting
Andrew Bingham MP attended the first meeting of the Trans-Pennine study. He said:
"This study came about after pressure and a personal visit by me to No.11 to see the Chancellor. This was the first meeting and I wasn’t going to let it pass by without being there to make sure it would do what we need it to do.
"It meant missing a day in Westminster but after leaving the meeting I considered it a day very well spent. There was a good attendance of all the key stakeholders, indeed the officials were somewhat surprised at the level of interest."
August 2014: Study enters third and final phase
High Peak MP Andrew Bingham and Stalybridge & Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds both attended the latest meeting of the Trans-Pennine Feasibility Study, and assured residents that the study was progressing. Andrew said:
"At the latest meeting I was pleased to see the work that has been done on looking at all possible solutions and testing them against various criteria, and that these solutions will now be tested in greater detail.
"Whilst I don't know what the final report will say, I remain hopeful that it will officially confirm what we all know - that there is a major problem here - and I am also hopeful that it will propose real solutions for the Government to look seriously at."
October 2014: Secretary of State for Transport visits Glossopdale
The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, visited Glossopdale with local MP Andrew Bingham, who showed him first-hand where the traffic problems are.
At the time, Andrew said: “I’m very grateful to Patrick to coming here at such short notice. We as local people know the problems that the traffic causes here, but it’s hard for someone who doesn’t live in the area to get a proper idea of what it’s like without actually visiting, so I’m pleased that Patrick agreed to come and have a look for himself.
“Although the study hasn’t yet reported, I’ve been very impressed with the work that’s been done so far. The evidence it’s turned up at the moment is very much in line with what I expected it to be. It’ll report closer to the Autumn Statement and then we’ll see what happens and where it takes us.
December 2014: Announcement made about traffic solution
The Government commits £170m to a road scheme to relieve traffic around Mottram and Glossop, and will also consult on whether to extend the scheme to relieve pressure on Tintwistle too.
Andrew said: "I am delighted with the news and would like to thank the Chancellor for his announcement. This is key to the local economy for Glossop and the surrounding area. I have campaigned long and hard for this, and with the consultation on a further extension to help residents in Tintwistle it is a great day for the High Peak. After years of disappointments and false promises I am delighted that it is a Conservative Chancellor who has at last committed to solve this long running issue for my constituents."