Long-term Metrolink plans
NEW tram stops, train stations and the birth of tram-train are at the heart of a five-year transport plan aimed at revolutionising travel across Stockport and Greater Manchester.
Announced this week by regional leaders, the ‘radical’ transport strategy includes measures to get more people out of their cars and on to public transport.
That includes the launch of the tram-train to areas including Stockport, allowing trams to pass from the Metrolink network on to the rail system. Meanwhile a new ‘orbital’ bus corridor could link towns between Stockport and Wigan.
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said the plan was crucial to changing the way people move around, bringing road congestion under control and achieving legal obligations to clean up the air.
This includes a potential move to charge drivers of the mostpolluting HGVs, taxis and buses, key to a goal of creating a carbon neutral Greater Manchester by 2038.
The transport plan is divided into three parts the 65 projects which are on their way to completion in the next five years, those schemes which are subject to business cases and could be delivered around or after the 2025 mark, and ones under consideration which could become reality by 2040.
That includes three potential new Metrolink stops, 10 train stations, five Metrolink or tramtrain stations, four new stations that could be for rail, Metrolink or tramtrain, and the replacement of three existing stations, possibly to allow access for Metrolink and tramtrains.
Although funding has already been allocated for the immediate plan up to 2025, Mr Burnham told the Stockport Express there is less certainty around cash for longerterm schemes at a time when Transport for the North is also applying for funding to meet its region-wide wishlist.
It means Mr Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority are currently £3bn short for the plan up to 2040.
He said: “We do need more powers to integrate the system into a whole that works for the whole city region.”
Funding could come comes from the Government’s Transforming Cities fund, which has already paid for Chris Boardman’s ‘beeline’ routes to boost cycling across the region.
In future, developers could also be asked to chip in for infrastructure around new housing and employment developments as part of planning conditions.
Five-Year Plan projects already in the pipeline with secure funding:
New Stockport interchange; A £73m investment in the town centre to boost access to the M60 and rail station; Hope Valley Line improvement, including new passing facilities (Network Rail); Walking and cycling routes including at Gillbent Road, Welkin Road, Hazel Grove; Improvements to the A560 Cheadle Corridor; Improvements to Bredbury Industrial Estate acccess; A busway to improve links between Stockport, Cheshire East and Manchester Airport
Beyond 2025 ‘potential plans’ without secured funding:
Tram-train services to link Stockport to the Metrolink network; New station at High Lane; New station at Stanley Green; New Metrolink/tram-train station at Adswood; New Metrolink/tram-train; station at Gatley North; Metrolink extension to Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport; A busway to Manchester Airport; Better bus route from Stockport-Ashton