Long-term Metrolink plans

Stockport Express - - Front Page -

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

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