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Alton bypass discussions continuing

In the News
Tuesday, 22nd January 2008 By Dan Ketteringham

The owners of Alton Towers are meeting with local residents to discuss plans for the long-awaited bypass.

The £6m road, which has been under proposal for decades, would ease congestion through villages such as Alton during the theme park's open season.

The problem is largely due to the park's remote location, meaning that roads currently leading to it are mostly narrow, winding country lanes. The new road would run from Denstone and significantly lower the amount of traffic going through local villages.

Previous attempts to come to an agreement over the bypass have stalled for a variety of reasons. Staffordshire County Council ruled in 2004 that no public money would go towards the project, which meant that Alton Towers and their owners would have to fund it themselves.

When the park were sued by a local couple over noise issues, this provided them with an opportunity to drag their heels on the issue, claiming they would have to wait for the outcome of the case before they could commit to spending money on the relief road.

Digger giants JCB have also been stumbling block, because they own some of the land which the road would need to occupy, and they have made it clear that they will not sell the land.

Tony Moult from the parish council said: "I know it will be a lot of money just to pacify Alton residents but something needs to be done."

Publicly Alton Towers remain committed to building the road, but after decades of negotiations, very little has actually happened. Local residents will be hoping that today's meeting might finally produce some results.

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