New Metrolink tram stop planned in Manchester to serve 15,000 new homes

It’s thought to be needed with the number of new houses being built to the north of the city at Collyhurst.

A new tram stop in North Manchester would serve thousands of homes planned in a major development which is set to change the face of the city.

Transport bosses are looking at creating a new tram stop north of Victoria Station which would be on the Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Metrolink lines.

The Sandhills stop in Collyhurst is at the centre of plans for 15,000 new homes set to be built over the next 15 to 20 years as part of the Victoria North project.

The Far East Consortium (FEC), the developer behind the plans, has already started work on the £4bn scheme which also includes a new ‘city river park’.

Sandhills in Collyhurst, Manchester. Pictured in April 2021. Credit: Google.

Project director Tom Fenton said the company is in the process of proving the economic benefits of the new tram stop before calculating the costs involved.

But with work on hundreds of new homes in Collyhurst already under way, the Sandhills tram stop would only open after many of the new residents move in.

He said: “It is a tricky one. We would love to have a stop ready, but we do not want something that won’t be used.”

In January 2021, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) committed to completing a business case for the Sandhills Metrolink stop by 2026.

It is one of three potential tram stops prioritised in Greater Manchester’s five-year delivery plan, alongside Cop Road in Oldham and Elton Reservoir in Bury.

The document says the Sandhills stop would serve the new neighbourhoods of Victoria North as well as people already living in Collyhurst and New Cross.

The developer also says the Sandhills tram stop would mean more homes could be built in the area, allowing for new higher density housing near the city centre.

Manchester city council, which has joined forces with the Hong Kong-based firm, is also looking at new bus routes which could serve commuters in the area.

But the company is particularly keen to promote cycling and walking within the seven new neighbourhoods which make up the 155 hectares of Victoria North.

New homes in Collyhurst will each have a parking space with electric vehicle chargers, but city centre flats would have around 10 pc car parking provision.

FEC is also considering creating centralised hubs with shops on the ground floor, offering residents parking spaces to rent and visitors a space to stop.

Hilary Brett-Parr, the project director for the Red Bank neighbourhood near the city centre, said there could also be car clubs available in these hubs.

She said: “A lot of people in the city centre want to live more sustainably.”

A TfGM spokesperson said: “In line with the aims set out in Greater Manchester’s Five Year Travel Delivery Plan 2021-2026, we are working with FEC and Homes England on a Strategic Outline Business Case for a Transport Hub at Sandhills to serve the Victoria North development.

“This could potentially comprise a new Metrolink stop serving both the Bury and Oldham and Rochdale lines and sustainable travel facilities such as bus and active travel improvements.

“TfGM and partners are still in the early stages of development with details of the scheme to be determined in due course, subject to business case and funding.”