The end in sight for Woodlands Road?

It looks like the battle to save Woodlands Road tramstop on the Manchester Metrolink line to Bury could be over following the news that after considering the outcomes of the public consultation the Department for Transport are “minded” to allow the stop to close – subject to ratification from the Office of Rail Regulation, although this is said not to be automatic.

It has long been the intention of Transport for Greater Manchester to close Woodlands Road stop (which is said to be poorly used) and replace it with new stops at Abraham Moss (opened on 18th April 2011) and Queen’s Road (planning consent for this stop was granted on 27th February) but there has been a lot of opposition from local residents against the closure. Woodlands Road has only been a part-time tramstop since the opening of Abraham Moss (off peak on weekdays only) and the decision by the DfT not to oppose the full closure almost certainly means its days of being served by any trams are numbered (it is thought highly unlikely the ORR will not ratify the closure).

The public consultation received 51 responses from 46 individuals with the overwhelming majority (42) being against the closure and just two people in favour (the remaining two obviously couldn’t care less one way or the other!) Many of the complaints received were concerned about the provision of public transport around Woodlands Road with 19 respondents claiming there was no other form of public transport locally and that the new stop at Abraham Moss was too far away for residents to use as an alternative. Both of these complaints were discarded by the DfT as there are already existing bus routes running near to Woodlands Road and Abraham Moss stop is only 250 metres away from Woodlands Road. It was decided that more people would benefit from having the new stop at Abraham Moss than would by disadvantaged by the closure of Woodlands Road. Another complaint received related to the crossings at Abraham Moss which some people believed to be dangerous (the government washed their hands of this complaint saying that was a matter for TfGM and Metrolink).

TfGM now have to wait for the ORR to ratify the decision after which time they will legally be able to close Woodlands Road permanently.

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