The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has called on the government to help fast track plans to extend the Manchester Metrolink network to Stockport with a hope that work could start as soon as 2025 with trams running within 10 years. The announcement was made as part of wider bid to boost regeneration plans for Stockport Town Centre which has seen a new Chair of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC).
Speaking about the Metrolink plans, Mr Burnham, said: “During the election campaign, the Transport Secretary committed to bringing Metrolink to Stockport and we stand ready to make it happen quickly. However, we need the government to give us the powers that we need in parallel with the funding, so that we can fast-track Metrolink from East Didsbury to Stockport. Greater Manchester has already demonstrated its track record of delivering ambitious and major infrastructure projects on time and on budget with the right funding and powers in place and we want to continue this track record here in Stockport and deliver growth, jobs and investment in the town.”
While exact details of a route to take Metrolink to Stockport have not been revealed it is planned that it would be an extension from East Didsbury. Whether there would be tram-train services or straight Metrolink also hasn’t been actually publicly mentioned (the Greater Manchester Transport Strategy was looking at tram-train or metro services) but it would terminate at the new transport interchange in Stockport.
The MDC’s powers and regeneration focus provides the opportunity to apply for the powers to implement the transport improvements in parallel with applying for the funding which it is hoped would speed up the project. All being well construction could start in 2025.