Airport relief road to open within five years

Dates have been set for the construction of the £290m A6 to Manchester Airport relief road using the new £1.2bn infrastructure fund agreed as part of the Greater Manchester City Deal with Government last week.

The project is being led by Stockport Council alongside Cheshire East Council and Manchester City Council. The proposal for the 10km dual carriageway was adopted into Government transport policy in 2001 but has waited until now for the necessary funding.

Jim McMahon, service director for major projects at Stockport Council, said: "With the Government announcements last week, the Budget and the Greater Manchester City Deal, overall funding is now available to construct the South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road.

"The expected overall cost for the scheme is £290m, made up from a contribution of £165m from Government with the remainder being found locally from the Greater Manchester Transport Fund, including funding using the recently approved Manchester Earnback [City Deal] model."

McMahon continued: "It is expected that a public consultation on the proposals for the scheme will take place over the forthcoming months leading to a planning application being submitted before the end of 2012.

"A contractor will be appointed during 2013, with a start planned on the ground for autumn 2014. The road is planned to be open to traffic in early 2017."

The Manchester Earnback model agreed with Government has potential for £1.2bn to be invested up front in infrastructure improvements by Greater Manchester. Money will be 'paid back' to the combined authority as real economic growth is seen. This is the first tax increment finance-style scheme in England outside London.

These 'earned back' funds will be reinvested in further infrastructure improvements to allow Greater Manchester to reach its economic potential. The first phase of this will include the completion of the Greater Manchester Transport Fund programme, enabling the early implementation of schemes including the South East Manchester Multi Modal Strategy .

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