Trams in Stock­port ‘within a decade’ Plans for spe­cial ‘tram-train’ sys­tem re­vealed

Stockport Times West - - NEWS - CHAR­LOTTE COX char­lotte.cox@men­media.co.uk @char­lot­te­coxMEN

PLANS to connect Stock­port to the Metrolink net­work with a spe­cial ‘tram train’ sys­tem have been re­vealed.

Pro­pos­als seek to cre­ate an or­bital route run­ning from Red­dish through the Heatons into Stock­port and then through Edge­ley, Chea­dle Heath, Chea­dle, Gat­ley and Bag­u­ley.

The ‘tram train’ tech­nol­ogy – which al­lows adapted trams to use ex­ist­ing rail lines – would see the trams run along the Stock­portCh­ester line for much of the route.

Tram train sup­port­ers say its use in Greater Manch­ester would re­duce cost and in­con­ve­nience by min­imis­ing the amount of new track laid.

Chea­dle MP Mark Hunter said:“The­p­ro­pos­als,backed by Stock­port Coun­cil and Trans­port for Greater Manch­ester (TfGM), are a ma­jor step for­ward and there’s a real op­por­tu­nity to have trams run­ning in a decade or less.

“We have to show strong com­mu­nity sup­port and a good busi­ness case to get the fund­ing.”

The pro­pos­als come in a rail study for Stock­port, pub­lished jointly by Stock­port Coun­cil and TfGM.

In ad­di­tion to a new or­bital tram route from Red­dish through Chea­dle and Gat­ley to Manch­ester Air­port, it also pro­poses in­tro­duc­ing a tram ser­vice on the Marple-Manch­ester line, ex­tend­ing the East Dids­bury Metrolink line into Stock­port and through to Hazel Grove, and im­prov­ing Stock­port rail sta­tion.

It also deals with the chal­lenges HS2 will bring – with a pro­posal to connect the West Coast Main­line with high speed rail to en­sure Stock­port re­mains a key hub.

Coun Iain Roberts, deputy leader of Stock­port coun­cil, said: “Stock­port al­ready has strong trans­port links.

“By fur­ther de­vel­op­ing the rail net­work we can take a log­i­cal step for­ward in im­prov­ing con­nec­tiv­ity across the south of Manch­ester and be­yond.”

There are plans to link Stock­port to the tram net­work Matt Rat­cliffe

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