Park top bus sta­tion ‘will be like no other’

Stockport Express - - Front Page - By LISA MEAKIN @LisaMeakin2

ANEW bus sta­tion in Stock­port will have a two-acre park on top of it.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the planned trans­port in­ter­change shows im­pres­sive green space on its roof.

In the shadow of Stock­port’s fa­mous viaduct, the new ‘hub’ will be­come the epi­cen­tre of the town’s trans­port net­work.

Fi­nal blue­prints for the huge plan – in­clud­ing strik­ing CGIs of how the area will look – have fi­nally been tabled af­ter years of work.

It’s go­ing to set the coun­cil back around £120m – but bosses say it will be well worth it.

The cur­rent, out­dated bus sta­tion will be bull­dozed. It has stood as a sign of a by­gone decade as the rest of the town cen­tre has trans­formed around it.

Town hall chiefs say the in­ter­change will give peo­ple easy ac­cess to other modes of trans­port.

There will be a bridge to Stock­port train sta­tion, a new link road be­tween the A6 and Travis Brow, up­graded frontage onto Mersey Square, and a new cy­cle hub.

The coun­cil is also look­ing to slash con­ges­tion through the cen­tre of Stock­port, with a huge plan to ease traf­fic in the town cen­tre.

A ‘green roof’ – es­sen­tially a gi­ant park – will sit on top of the hub.

Town hall chiefs are con­fi­dent trams will soon run into the area, in­sist­ing it’s a mat­ter of ‘when, not if.’

The new trans­port hub has been a long-term am­bi­tion for the town hall.

As the pro­pos­als have been drawn up, they have evolved from just be­ing about trans­port links into ‘some­thing much big­ger,’ coun­cil leader Coun Gan­otis re­cently said.

A 196-home apart­ment block, which is ex­pected to cost around £39m to build – will sit be­side the in­ter­change.

Lo­cal lead­ers say the plans – the lat­est in a se­ries of pro­pos­als to com­pletely over­haul Stock­port town cen­tre – will help make the town cen­tre a more ‘at­trac­tive’ place to live and work.

Alex Crop­per, Trans­port for Greater Manch­ester’s head of projects, said: “The scheme is hugely am­bi­tious, but we feel it’s be­fit­ting of a town cen­tre that’s cur­rently en­joy­ing a mas­sive trans­for­ma­tion.

“No other trans­port in­ter­change in Greater Manch­ester will com­pare to this one. It will be unique in fea­tur­ing a twoacre park on its roof and high-qual­ity res­i­den­tial apart­ments in close prox­im­ity.

“It’s an ex­cit­ing time for Stock­port town cen­tre and we’re de­ter­mined to build the com­mu­nity a mod­ern trans­port hub it can be proud for many years to come.”

Other re­cent de­vel­op­ments in­clude the ‘One Stock­port Ex­change’ of­fice block next to the train sta­tion, with plans for a sec­ond build­ing.

A £145m flag­ship of­fice de­vel­op­ment will be­come a busi­ness ‘hub,’ bosses say.

The town’s £45m Re­drock leisure com­plex be­side the M60 is fin­ished – boast­ing a 10-screen cin­ema, restau­rants, bars, shops and a 340 space multi-storey car park.

The coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment chief Kate But­ler said: “This is such an im­por­tant pro­ject for Stock­port and will take the trans­for­ma­tion of the town cen­tre to the next level.”

Work could start on the trans­port in­ter­change next au­tumn, sub­ject to plan­ning per­mis­sion.

●●The plan will see the area above the bus sta­tion be­come a new town cen­tre park

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