Fatal accident on Snake Pass highlights the importance of an alternate route linking Sheffield to Manchester

By Phoebe Fuller

Two men were killed in a collision on Snake Pass, between the Strines junction and Ladybower, on May 15 this year.

Police were called to the scene at around 10pm, following reports that five cars had been involved in two separate collisions.

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Strines junction
Ladybower reservoir
Ladybower reservoir

One driver, Joshua Rosenberg, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other, Ehtisham Hanif, died later in hospital.

Fatal accidents on Snake Pass are not uncommon, there were seven between 2009 and 2014.

The road is a notorious accident zone due to it’s many winding bends and blind junctions, with a total of 15 accidents on the stretch in 2014.

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It is especially unsafe during the winter months, due to it’s high altitude being susceptible to snowy and icy conditions. As a result, the road is often closed.

This makes it difficult for commuters travelling between Sheffield and Manchester, as Snake Pass is one of just two direct routes between the cities, along with the equally treacherous Woodhead Pass.

Now, talk is beginning again of a viable way to connect the two cities, with consideration of tunnelling under the Pennines.

This comes after plans to build a Peak District motorway were slammed by environmental campaigners, who believed that such a construction would destroy one of the most beautiful areas of the country.

Subsequently, an underground tunnel has been suggested as ‘the only credible solution.’

Chancellor George Osborne is set to provide £75 million of funding in order to provide a link between the two cities, and fulfil the government’s plan to create a ‘northern economic powerhouse.’

The Department for Transport said that a connection between Sheffield and Manchester ‘would be capable of fundamentally changing the nature of the journey between two of the most important cities of the north.’

If the plan is successful it will represent the first increase in Trans-Pennine links since 1971.

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As well as encouraging economic growth, a safer and more stable route from Sheffield to Manchester would undoubtedly reduce collisions, as snow and ice will not be a danger to travellers using the tunnel.

No details about routes or terminal have yet been suggested.

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