PAULA is a group of Poynton, Hazel Grove, and Bramhall residents who are determined to question the need for this road which will transform and urbanise this much loved countryside.

The group formed May 2012 and meets regularly every two or three weeks to formulate tactics and strategies.

However there is also a lively and informative PAULA mailing list that includes members of other campaigning organisations that help keep PAULA up to date with developments.

We are also organising a second mailing list exclusively for the legal technicalities of compensation.

If you would like to subscribe to the mailing lists, and/or join us at a meeting (usually 7pm at the Davenport Arms, Woodford) please just include your email address when you sign our petition.

February 2013. Transport experts engaged to challenge SEMMMS.

Towards the end of the year the Planning Inspector will be holding a Public Inquiry into the SEMMMS Airport to A6 road. Following the Inquiry the Inspector will prepare a report recommending or not recommending the scheme to the Secretary of State for Transport who has the responsibility to make the final decision. The Inspector will be taking evidence from various organizations including PAULA the local Poynton group of residents against the scheme.

PAULA can now announce that two top experts in road transport and urban development have been engaged and are preparing evidence against the road; Professor Alan Wenban-Smith who coined the term brownfield in the 70s and Keith Buchan who is currently Chairman of the Transport Planning Society.

Public Inquiries by their nature, challenge the evidence for and against on a rather technical level and it can be very difficult for voluntary organisations running on tiny budgets to tear away the paper that covers the cracks filled with fudge in the Councils case for the road. Not surprisingly it costs at least many thousands of pounds to effectively challenge the piles of consultants reports that have cost the Council (SMBC) 20 million pounds to generate. But PAULA from the very start has been working closely with North West Transport Activists Roundtable and Campaign for Better Transport both dedicated to improving our transport infrastructure and the way we go about our lives.

Since 2007 Lush Cosmetics have supported grassroot groups through their Lush Charity Pot. NWTAR with the help of CfBT put together a very comprehensive and successful application for a grant to challenge SEMMMS and save some cherished countryside from the bulldozer.

PAULA says the case for the road is untenable.

-An East/West road cannot improve congestion on local roads that is caused by slow moving traffic in the North/South direction and the Councils own analysis shows this. It just moves traffic around a bit. Some roads improve while others get worse.

-the Council predicts traffic on the A34 will to go up when the road opens. This is bad news for Wilmslow and bad news for Manchester where pollution sensors on the A34 already exceed EU (and World) limits.

-They also predict traffic on the A6 will to go up through Disley when the road opens, even though pollution has been recorded 50% higher than EU limits.

-The Council even predicts serious road injuries will go up when the road opens! Road schemes should be designed to reduce serious accidents.

-The road attracts development of mega estates on green belt land; Woodford, Handforth Dean and Dean Row which in turn will increase local traffic. This is known as induced traffic for which there are limitations in road planning law.

-The road runs roughshod through environmental statutory constraints . Carr Wood is a 1000 year old woodland protected in planning law as Ancient Woodland. It will wipe Carr Wood off the map. Cheshire in particular has been depleted of most of this irreplaceable habitat.

-The Council, contrary to their statutory obligation, have not pursued the alternatives; they have failed to protect the disused track bed from development which could have brought the Metrolink down to Hazel Grove from Stockport, losing the benefits for reducing congestion and pollution levels on the A6 which like the A34 already exceed statutory limits.

N.B. The air pollution referred to above is Nitrogen Dioxide which is probably responsible for 15 to 30% of new asthma cases in children. More damaging are small particles emitted from modern diesel engines. There are only a small number of sites around Manchester where they are being measured. The smaller particles can enter the bloodstream raising the risk of heart attacks and strokes. They have also recently been classified as Class I carcinogens with no practical safe limit.

Click on our online petition against the road.

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