§ Mr. J. H. Osborn
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is now able to announce a decision on the proposed new route between Sheffield and Manchester: and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Speed
On Monday, 31st July I visited the Peak District National Park and had discussions with Alderman Gratton—the Chairman of the Park Planning Board—Colonel Haythornthwaite, Councillor Levick, Commander Shuttleworth, Councillor or Mrs. Tomlinson, Mr. Whitson and Alderman Wilson—members of the board—and officers both of the Peak Park Planning Board and of the Countryside Commission. In the light of these discussions, and of the consultations which the Department had previously had with the planning and highway authorities, including the Peak Park Board and the Countryside Commission, my right hon. Friend428W the Secretary of State for the Environment has decided that of the several alternative routes considered that which lies in a corridor from Hyde Bypass in the west, along the south side of the Longdendale Valley to join the M1 near Chapeltown, is preferable from several points of view but especially the environmental. The construction of a route there would encourage through traffic to use a single road designed to carry it and greatly relieve other roads in the Peak District National Park.
In order to make it possible for these and other relevant factors to be considered in greater detail before conclusive decisions are taken, my right hon. Friend has decided to include in the Trunk Road Preparation Pool a scheme for a new major route between Manchester and Sheffield. Proposals on the line which might be followed will now be developed for further consultation with the authorities concerned, for public comment and for objections to be considered.
In the process of preparation special attention will be paid to the effect on the environment, particularly within the Peak District National Park. Full consultation will take place with the planning authorities, on the line, the landscaping and the design of the route. In particular careful account will be taken of the specific suggestions which the representatives of the Peak Park Board and the Countryside Commission put to me during my visit to the area. The route will meet the need for a direct link between the South Yorkshire and South Lancashire conurbations and industrial areas.
§ Mr. J. H. Osborn
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what further consideration he has now given to the views of industrial organisations, and those concerned with providing employment in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, including the Sheffield City Council and Chamber of Commerce, and to the views of organisations concerned with conserving national parks, including the countryside commission and the Peak Park Planning Board, about a route and necessary landscaping for a motorway link between Sheffield and Manchester.
§ Mr. Speed
The decision to proceed with the preparation of the scheme for a 429W major new route between Manchester and Sheffield followed careful consideration of representations from the bodies concerned, including those referred to by my hon. Friend. As is usual, in its further planing of the route the Department will continue to have the benefit of the advice of the Landscape Advisory Committee; and will consult with the Peak Park Planning Board and the Countryside Commission.