HS2 plans include changes to Altrincham Road/Mobberley Road junction

Changes are being proposed to the A538 Altrincham Road/Mobberley Road junction due to the expected increase in congestion caused by the construction of HS2.

Construction vehicles accessing compounds together with temporary road closures and diversions are expected to result in significant delays for users of A538 Altrincham Road and Mobberley Road - therefore traffic lights are set to be installed at the junction.

The traffic management measures will remain in place permanently following construction and will include:
• construction of a junction in a new position to the north of the existing junction. The existing junction will remain open during this period;
• closure of the existing junction upon completion of the new junction;
• signalisation of the new junction with left and right turn controls on new traffic islands.
• realignment of the footway in both directions to the new kerb line with a minimum 2m width;
• provision of a pedestrian crossing across the junction in both directions; and
• relocation of an existing bus stop for route 88, approximately 140m west of its existing location on Mobberley Road.

Temporary traffic signals will be installed to control movements at the junction during construction.

A spokesperson for HS2 said "The A538 Altrincham Road/Mobberley Road junction is not on a HS2 construction route and will therefore not be used by HS2 HGVs. However, the traffic modelling has identified a significant effect at the junction due to an increase in congestion caused by a change in traffic flows."

"The change in traffic at this junction is due to a combination of HS2 workforce traffic (workers travelling to and from the HS2 compounds) and a redistribution of existing traffic on the wider highway network as a result of HS2 construction activities elsewhere (e.g. drivers choosing to take alternative routes because of works at M56 J6).

"In order to mitigate that impact, the proposed signalised junction has been developed to better manage the forecast change in traffic flows at the junction."

Additional land is permanently required for modifications to A538 Altrincham Road and Mobberley Road junction. In addition, this will result in the removal of approximately 230m of existing hedgerow.

This proposal is included within the second Additional Provision (AP2) to the Crewe – Manchester Bill, which was submitted to Parliament in January 2002.

A spokesperson for HS2 said "Subject to the Parliamentary process, we expect to achieve Royal Assent (powers to build and operate the railway) in December 2025. Early works to prepare for construction of the Crewe – Manchester extension would begin in 2026 and we would expect the main civils programme to commence around 2027, lasting for around six years.

"HS2 will appoint construction partners to carry out the civil works programme, and once on board, they will provide a more detailed assessment of when individual programmes of work, like the A538 Altrincham Road and Mobberley road junction improvement, will take place. Our early assessments indicate this this is likely to be around 2028."

She added "Anyone directly or specially impacted by the proposals has the right to petition. Petitions must be submitted by 17.00 on 15th August 2023."

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

David Smith
Tuesday 8th August 2023 at 4:20 pm
Mark Eden
Tuesday 8th August 2023 at 5:00 pm
What a tragic vanity project and waste of taxpayers money. Politicians are good at wasting our money. If only they were as good at running the country. Just useless
Jeffrey Dennis
Tuesday 8th August 2023 at 5:47 pm
Wonderful! Yet another set of traffic lights to hold up main arterial roads for the benefit of two three cars. I am surprised Cheshire East haven't added humps, yellow "do not obstruct" markings or some other traffic calming measure.
Steven Mccrory
Wednesday 9th August 2023 at 5:53 am
A complete utter waste of money. The disruption, cost and effects it will have on day to day lives for many years for what? To save minutes on overpriced empty trains not running due to strikes and more and more unused as people prefer the car or to work from home. The UK is bankrupt. We cannot pay for basics let alone this senseless project.
Vince Chadwick
Wednesday 9th August 2023 at 9:36 am
Steven Mccrory, I posted this on the Wilmslow Website not long ago, in answer to correspondents there who had the wrong idea of what HS2 is for. In short, it is not about saving a few minutes travel time, it is about adding vital capacity to our rail system:

--------------------------------

It might be worth a reminder of what HS2 was intended to achieve. It is not 'a transport system' in itself, but an integrated upgrade to the nation's railway system. As such it was intended to remove the high speed non-stop services from three main lines (West Coast, East Coast, and Midland) and put those on the new railway, relieving around 70% of the capacity of those classic lines. Running high speed non stop services on a mixed traffic railway means that they take an enormous share of the available capacity (everything else – get out of the way!).

Why do we need to reclaim that capacity? Because pre-Covid, rail demand was growing and there were very few spare paths available on those lines (worsening nearer London which is why HS2 was started from the south). Post Covid, passenger levels are growing rapidly and will soon surpass pre-Covid levels, with the exception of London commuting. Rail freight is today severely capacity constrained, with trains spending hours in loops awaiting a forward path and the rail freight businesses calling out for more freight capacity on the railway. If we are serious about getting long distance freight of the motorways and onto rail, that has to change. And much needed service upgrades far away from HS2 itself will be enabled, such as the promised half-hourly service on the Mid Cheshire line, currently unable to be implemented because there are no spare train paths between Stockport and Manchester.

However, the eastern leg of HS2 has been axed, as has the northern section to Golborn where it was to re-join the West Coast line for services to the north of England and Scotland, and there is uncertainty over the HS2 Euston terminus. If HS2 is reduced to an ‘Old Oak Common to Birmingham’ line then it simply will not deliver the capacity relief it was designed to do and it will not deliver the return on investment it was designed to deliver. We will end up spending most of the money without seeing much benefit.

As I said earlier, it seems we have lost the ability (or perhaps, the will?) to build major vital infrastructure in this country. On a smaller scale than HS2, we saw this malaise with the Ordsall Chord scheme in Manchester where the first part was built, but the second part was axed to save money. This meant the money spent of doing the first part was largely wasted as the half-built scheme delivers little if any benefit.

If we don't build HS2 as originally designed, the alternative will be more motorways - far more environmentally damaging in build and in operation than a clean 2-track electric railway. And it's worth looking back to HS1, which before it was built was predicted to rip the heart out of The Garden of England. It did no such thing. Today, no-one complains about HS1, not even those who live close to it - we simply use it as a useful and superb piece of vital infrastructure and are glad it is there.

So what is the best way forward regarding HS2? The worst option would be to simply stop now, leaving the countryside littered with half-built tunnels and viaducts, with money spent on which there will be zero return. The second best is to complete it as far as Manchester which will deliver a significant part of its benefit, but no means all. The best thing to do is to bite the bullet and do as other countries do - build the new railway in its entirety as originally planned. And of course every delay and every change of mind adds to the cost.

However, it’s looking increasing likely that HM Treasury (who only look at cost, not benefit) will dictate it will go no further than Birmingham with a possible future southern extension to the Euston terminus. What a great shame that would be.
Alan Brough
Thursday 10th August 2023 at 12:35 pm
I agree with others that HS2 is the wrong solution to a complex transport infrastructure problem.

The fact that it deals only with North - South connectivity completely misses the goal as far as making any meaningful reduction in road freight is concerned.

Very simply, the UKs largest seaport (by far) in terms of TEU’s is Felixstowe. All of the major Logistics hubs / National Distribution Centres are in the East and West Midlands.

East - West connectivity is what is seriously lacking, and it will continue to act as a huge brake on UKPLC’s ambitions to become more productive and prosperous.
Gary Thomas
Thursday 10th August 2023 at 12:58 pm
Well said Vince. Your comments are also echoed by all the strategic transport planners for Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield etc. It's a shame that people do not take the time to understand the facts and just pick up on the social media rhetoric.
I wonder how many people know that our future zero carbon targets seem to be reliant on HS2 by its minimising of new road construction and congestion, moving freight onto the railways and increasing the capacity on the already conjested local railway networks.
If we didn't have HS2 we would still need to build more local railway networks and motorways to increase capacity and replace the dilapidated and out of date Euston Station.
Yes HS2 is expensive, all major infrastructure projects are - and the longer we delay it, the more expensive it will continue to become - as well as any "blue sky" alternatives to replace it.
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 10th August 2023 at 9:00 pm
Alan Brough - There are major logistics hubs all over the place. Even on our capacity-constrained network Tesco move massive amounts of goods all over UK by dedicated freight train, including the SE to Scotland (you can see them every day passing through Crewe). Here in Wilmslow we have hourly freight trains each way between Trafford Park container terminal and the East Coast ports and other destinations, and the return traffic. Stone form Derbyshire and cement from Hope goes all over UK - and these are just a few examples.

All of these flows are seriously constrained by lack of capacity on the Victorian network which HS2 (if implemented in full) would ameliorate. Have a look on the Real Time Trains website to see how much time that container train running through Alderley Edge at maybe 70mph will spend waiting in loops for a forward path. Its average speed to Harwich or Felixstowe or wherever will be more like 15mph! And the traffic constraints are mostly on the main lines (West coast, Midland, and East coast). Precisely those HS2 was designed to relieve.

What the Rail Freight companies want on East - West rail connections is infill electrification for the missing miles that makes them use diesel under the wires for hundreds of miles (as we see twice an hour or more often through Alderley). They are not calling for a new east - west railway. They want HS2! And they want it NOW, not 'some time in the future'.

A logical follow up to HS2 as designed before the current government hacked bits off willy nilly (HS2 being the rail equivalent of the M1 and M6) is HS3, and east - west railway from Liverpool to Hull via Manchester (for an HS2 connection) and Leeds (the same). That would be the rail equivalent of the M62.

But imagine a Britain with no motorways. That's where our railways are today. Would you build the M62 first, or the M1 / M6? An M62 without the other two motorways simply wouldn't work - where would the traffic go and come from at either end?