New campaign launched to bring Metrolink to Stockport
Pressure is mounting to extend Greater Manchester's Metrolink to Stockport.
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The people of Stockport have been wanting trams in the borough for years, and now their ‘patience is exhausted’, says council bosses after launching a new campaign.
The ‘Next Stop Stockport’ campaign to get Metrolink to the area was highlighted by the council leader Coun Mark Hunter at the latest town hall meeting. The council boss wants to see action from transport bosses at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority after years of waiting.
The aim would see Stockport linked to both Manchester Airport and East Didsbury.
One design proposes that a Metrolink service would travel through a new tunnel which would run under part of Mercian Way and King Street West between Booth Street and the Railway station – although the exact location has not yet been determined.
Speaking at the meeting, Coun Hunter said: “The extension of the network to Stockport has been promised many times but we are still waiting despite all the assurances. There have been a number of dramatic announcements, telling us that delivery of the business case is ‘imminent’ – but still we wait for our turn.
“Let’s not forget that when Metrolink was first introduced in Greater Manchester over 30 years ago, it was always understood that all parts of the city region would eventually benefit. After all, we have all paid into the investment in transport infrastructure through our council tax precepts over many years, yet Stockport residents are still to enjoy the benefits of the network locally.
“The new Transport Interchange, currently being completed, has been designed and built specifically in a way that can accommodate the arrival of Metrolink. Everything is in place – we just need the green light from Andy Burnham and co.”
“Well, some of us feel we have waited quite long enough. Our patience is exhausted.
“The ‘Next Stop Stockport’ campaign is designed to highlight our demands and what we believe to be an irrefutable case to the relevant authorities and make clear we have been patient for quite long enough. We need action, not words and the time for talking has passed.”
The council leader added that GM mayor Andy Burnham has been invited to a round table meeting on the Metrolink extension, which he has accepted, Stockport Town Hall heard.
Speaking on the BBC Radio Manchester phone back in October, the mayor said the ongoing work at Stockport’s new transport interchange in the town centre will be “Metrolink ready”. He told listeners that a “detailed update” on the case for bringing the tram to the area will be shared before the end of the year.
Answering a question on the radio phone in, the Mayor said: “TfGM have been doing a detailed assessment of all of our ambitions for Metrolink, and the Metrolink to Stockport is a big part of that. The new interchange that links to new infrastructure is going to be Metrolink ready, so it’s being built with that capability.
“What we’re doing now is looking at the precise schemes that we’ve got to expand Metrolink and looking at the cost of them and we’re going to publish that work later this year.”