Over the last few decades, governments of all parties have failed to invest properly in transport infrastructure in places like the High Peak. Locally, I am campaigning hard for an improved rail service, urging the Government to introduce more rolling stock and recruit more drivers, so we can get longer, more reliable trains.
I am delighted that, after several years of campaigning, the Government have now approved a £137 million upgrade to the Hope Valley Line, which runs between Manchester and Sheffield and serves New Mills Central, Chinley, Edale, Hope and Bamford.
The upgrade is designed to increase capacity on the line by removing the bottleneck around Bamford, by building passing loops, which will allow passenger services to overtake the slower-moving freight trains. This will lead to a faster and more reliable service. It also opens up the possibility of more frequent trains.
I have also been campaigning for Gamesley Station and have already raised this important issue several times in the House of Commons. This includes leading a debate on the proposals and making the case directly to the Rail Minister.
When people first moved to the newly built housing estate in Gamesley, they were told that a new station would be built so they can easily travel to Manchester or Glossop. That was over 50 years ago and the people of Gamesley are still waiting. The failure to properly invest in transport in places like Gamesley has held people back and denied them opportunities for decades.
I believe it is time to honour this promise and build a station at Gamesley on the Manchester to Glossop line. This would bring a significant level of jobs and investment to the area.
If successful, this would provide a major boost to commuters in the area and support economic growth for the region.
I’ve also been fighting to get the Mottram Bypass built to relieve traffic congestion around Glossop.
I have raised the bypass on several occasions in Parliament; met with the Roads Minister to discuss the issue; worked on a cross-party basis with Stalybridge & Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds; and ensured a commitment to the bypass was included in the Government’s Road Investment Strategy.
I am delighted that after over 50 years of waiting, the Government has officially approved the Mottram Bypass and Glossop Spur Road.
I am now fighting for the key second phase of the bypass around Tintwistle and have repeatedly raised this with the Roads Minister, Baroness Vere. I am encouraged that the Government have included proposals for a full Trans-Pennine Tunnel between Manchester and Sheffield in the latest Road Investment Strategy and continue to study this option.
I am also pushing for a traffic solution for the A6 and Fairfield Road. Working with other MPs, I brought together different local authorities along the A6 corridor to form a special A6 Taskforce to try and improve traffic flow and have more joined-up thinking.