Carrington Link Road
Have YOU heard of the Jevons paradox?
Click on the graphic to watch this very short, but very appropriate video demonstrating what happens when you open a new road!
Collisions, noise, light, toxins… what could roads and their traffic be doing to our bird populations?
Click on the photo to the left to go to this short video by
Sophia C. Cooke, who has researched this subject.
12th January 2023 update: Trafford has updated their webpage about the Carrington Relief Road and has been connecting with organisations about a logo for the initiative (but has held no workshops with, or sent any communications to, communities).
In fact, we have not heard from the CRR team since October 2022 and have had no information about progress in the plans for the Carrington Relief Road, nor the consultation that was supposed to be happening last year.
This is a very poor approach to communicating with communities.
The Council is continuing with the Decide, Announce, Defend approach (“Once the initial design plans are completed, we will hold a public consultation“) rather than the more appropriate Engage, Deliberate, Decide method, which fully involves communities in design. Given our experiences to date, we expect that our inputs will be totally ignored.
Raising a formal complaint to Trafford about the CRR process
The Chair of Friends of Carrington Moss raised a formal complaint to Trafford about the CRR process on 9th March 2022, you can read the detailed complaint here. So many issues to highlight, including (in no order of importance):
- Lack of consideration of resident inputs
- No consultation
- Environmental impacts
- Lack of data/justification
- A biased Option Appraisal
- Misleading information
- Lack of consideration of sustainable passenger and freight transport alternatives
Trafford’s Inclusive Economy and Communities Manager responded on 22nd April 2022, you can read his disappointing feedback here!
Given many of the issues raised were not actually addressed (they were avoided or misdirected), the Chair responded on 3rd May 2022 with a request for the complaint to be escalated to a Stage 2 investigation. You can read the detailed reasoning here.
Trafford’s response finally came through on 22nd July 2022, you can view it here. My questions remain unanswered and the issues I raise have not been explained.
On 17th August 2022, a complaint was raised to the Local Government Ombudsman, it included the following documents (along with those already provided in the links above):
- Covering note to the LGO
- Summary of Complaint Responses and Commentary
- Natural England Letter to Trafford (20th June 2022)
- Natural England response to CRR Options Appraisal (22nd March 2021)
- Our struggle to secure genuine consultation (graphic)
Responding to the CRR presentation to Trafford’s Scrutiny Committee
On 12th January 2022, the proposals for the Carrington Relief Road were presented to Trafford’s Scrutiny Committee. You can watch the presentation and the response from members here. After that presentation, FOCM developed a number of blogs to correct the misinformation, fill the gaps and provide the viewpoint of the KEY stakeholder – Trafford residents.
Our work culminated in a detailed analysis of the latest Option Appraisal document about the CRR (see below). It’s a bit of a long read but we did find 17 points of bias, 14 contradictions, 10 inaccuracies, 19 misleading statements and 23 other issues!
On 9th March 2022, we sent all that information to Trafford’s Scrutiny Committee, copied to all Councillors for information. You can see the short presentation we included here.
Many of our slides link back to further information (including our recent blogs). If you do not have time to review all of this material, do take a look at links 1 and 2 below.
- Our review of Trafford’s CRR Option Appraisal
- Our struggle to secure robust, genuine consultation
- Traffic Numbers for New Carrington
- A summary of the GM Transport Strategy 2040 – what is promised for the New Carrington area?
- A summary of the New Carrington Allocation and Places for Everyone – is green belt release needed?
- What was promised for Carrington, Partington and Sale West in the 2012 Core Strategy & the 2006 UDP?
The key takeaways are as follows:
- It should be remembered that Places for Everyone has not yet been approved – and it is a 16 year plan from the date of approval, giving time to develop sustainable passenger and freight transport options, for which both Trafford and TfGM should be providing more leadership, especially given that GM’s Transport Strategy suggests that achieving the Right Mix is expected to lead to zero net growth in motor vehicle traffic in Greater Manchester between 2017 and 2040.
- We were surprised to see the costs highlighted as £29.4m in the Executive Report (which is less than the previously reported capital costs of £34m – we’d be amazed if the costs have come down!). The cost figure mentioned in the Option Appraisal for Option F (route across the Moss) is £36m. The Option Appraisal makes it clear that many of the costs are excluded from this Option F figure, including the cost of dualling, and there are a number of other costs about which we are unclear whether they are in or out!
- The Public Engagement exercise was limited to raising questions about the CRR and the Option Appraisal process. It was not a consultation (there were no questions on Trafford’s Consultation Portal and residents were explicitly told it was NOT about proposing preferences regarding the route option). In addition, most of the questions we submitted were not summarised in the Option Appraisal Report and have not been responded to. Our requests for workshops have been repeatedly ignored.
- Natural England’s damning response to the consultation was not highlighted in either the Executive Report or in the presentation to Scrutiny Committee (see the attached pack).
- There has been a consistent lack of support for the New Carrington development & CRR proposals from residents, yet no forums have been created so we can provide input.
- Residents believe improvements can be made to the design of Option A and asked (in the Public Engagement exercise) how our ideas can be fed into the process. NO response was received, yet there could be opportunities to create a solution which would result in lower costs for the public purse, be less environmentally damaging and more acceptable to local residents.
On 27th September 2021, Trafford Council’s Executive Committee approved the route for what they are calling the Carrington Relief Road, despite feedback from Natural England raising significant concerns about the environment impact of this option. You can read our review of the proposals in our blog, here.
On 13th October 2021, the Friends of Carrington Moss presented their petition of 1,622 signatures to Full Council, which was followed by a short “debate” during which a representative from each political Party spoke for around 3 minutes, followed by a summing up by Councillor Andrew Western (Leader of Trafford Council).
During the presentation, the Friends group requested a seat at the table in the design of the plans for the area, invited Councillors to consider the genuine alternatives to the Carrington Relief Road and asked for Trafford’s declaration of a climate emergency to be fully taken into consideration. You can read our full presentation here.
You can hear the responses of the Councillors here (fast forward to 13 minutes 55 seconds).
In early July 2021, we were asked by Trafford/Amey for feedback about the Walking, Cycling and Horseriding implications of the plans for the road. We worked with local Parish Councils and other interested groups such as Peak and Northern Footpaths Society, Ramblers Trafford, horseriding and cycling colleagues to put together the following response, which was submitted on 23rd July 2021. Our input documents can be accessed below in the green boxes.
In October 2022 we were finally given access to the formal Walking, Cycling and Horseriding Assessment Report (WCHAR) – access it below in the blue box. This (along with other background documents from the Preferred Option Report) are under review (October 2022).
In February 2021, Trafford made their Carrington Relief Road website available to residents. They commenced an Engagement process (this was not a formal consultation), which allowed residents to raise questions about the Options Appraisal document that had been issued and was referenced on the website. There was also an indication of the timescales for the implementation of the road, which suggested that the scheme would open in Autumn 2024.
The Friends group and representatives from local Parish Councils met with members of the project team on 8th March 2021 to review their priority questions. The input document used at that meeting is available on the button below, the document has used the transcript from the video on the website as a focus for the questions (note that the priority questions, which were raised at the meeting, have been duplicated at the beginning of the document).
Following the decision by the Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration (6th January 2021), Trafford published the Carrington Relief Road Options Report, which set out the options being considered and the planned approach to public consultation. The Options Appraisal Report provided more detail about the options and the pros and cons for each.
We encouraged all our members to respond to the consultation (when it begins) and we hope they will object to any routes that suggests the road goes across Carrington Moss. Carrington Parish Council and the Friends of Carrington Moss have proposed a route that takes traffic (particularly HGVs) across the Ship Canal. This would be a much better solution and would support Trafford’s declaration of a climate emergency and their recently published Carbon Neutral Action Plan.
Back in February 2020, we were very disappointed to read the document Trafford shared on their website (an Executive Summary of the Outline Business Case for the Carrington Relief Road). There has still been no consultation about the need for this road, never mind the route and there is no recognition in the document about the damage to local ecology and biodiversity, the cost to the health and well-being of local residents and the impact on habitats which are the breeding and feeding grounds of over 20 red listed birds and a number of endangered species, including the water vole. In addition, there is no mention at all about the impact of the huge number of HGVs on the health of local residents and the vibration damage caused to their homes. The Return on Investment does not take any account any of these problems, the environmental losses, nor is there any reference to air or noise pollution for impacted residents.
We held a public meeting back in February and wrote to Trafford’s Chief Executive about our concerns. We also submitted a number of Freedom of Information Act requests to clarify some of the issues we had raised. There is more information about these actions below.
We then began working with Carrington Parish Council to develop our own Community Focused Transport Strategy for the area and have subsequently presented our proposal to other Parish Councils, businesses and Trafford officers. Having held several public meetings to present our ideas to residents, the document has been much improved following their feedback.
We held a public meeting on 25th February 2020, which concluded that we should write to the CEO of Trafford to raise our concerns. We wanted to understand Trafford’s Strategic Intentions for these roads but also highlighted the risks the roads would bring (air pollution and local flooding being just two of them) and pointing out a large number of errors in the document.
At the same time, we also raised a number of Freedom of Information Act requests, which gave us access to local authority documents that are not currently in the public domain.
Because of the Covid pandemic, we did not get responses to either our letter nor the FOI requests until July and both raised more queries. A detailed response has been made to the FOI documents and further information will be shared as it becomes available.
A further email was sent to Trafford’s CEO and discussions about the road continue with Trafford Officers.
In the meantime, we have been working closely with Carrington Parish Council to develop a Balanced, Community Focused, Transport Strategy for the area and, whilst we are still awaiting the details of Trafford’s planned consultation events about the roads, we have presented our proposal to them and hope that it will form one of the options to be considered.
Information discussed and presented at the public meeting on 25th February 2020 is set out below. At the meeting we discussed the contents of the Carrington Relief Road document, the options available to us and agreed our next steps.
We continue to gather signatures for our petition against the road, we’d be delighted if you would help us raise awareness about the road and collect more signatures .
We have already been talking to some of the Trafford officers dealing with the plans for the road and they have confirmed that there will be genuine consultation with local residents, which we welcome.
We have asked for more information about the way the project will be structured, the timetable, the communications strategy and the approach for ensuring all risks/issues are captured and mitigated.
The other key issues we raised are set out below:
Many parts of Carrington Moss are subject to regular surface water flooding. In fact, we have had very high levels of flooding continuously since October 2019, now extending into Dainewell Woods, leading us to recognise a new feature on the Moss, “Carrington Lake”. Click here to take a look at some of our photos on our feature page.
Residents have a number of ideas aimed at reducing reliance on the car and improving access to the isolated communities in Carrington, Partington and Sale West.
There are a number of Factual Errors and Misleading statements within the Outline Business Case document, which we highlighted in our letter.
Finally, we feel strongly that residents should have sufficient information to enable them to contribute as fully as other key stakeholders, who have clearly been involved in various discussions to date. With this in mind, a Freedom of Information Act request has been submitted in relation to the Carrington Relief Road and, depending on the information supplied, may need to be repeated for the other parts of the scheme (the Sale West Link Road and the Southern Link Road). We are hoping for a quick response, especially given the rapid timetable for this programme of work.
We’d like to remind you about some of the other reasons why we will be objecting to the road.