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BRT, tram-train and major new road proposed for Stockport


Andrew Forster
08 June 2018

Bus rapid transit, tram-trains and a controversial new road all feature in a draft transport strategy for the south-east side of Greater Manchester published by Stockport and Cheshire East councils.  

The refresh of the 2001 South East Manchester Multi-Modal Strategy (SEMMMS) has been prepared by the councils with the help of consultant Atkins, now part of the SNC-Lavalin Group. 

Three bus rapid transit routes are proposed to improve east-west public transport:

• Stockport to Manchester Airport

• Wilmslow to Manchester Airport 

• Wilmslow to East Didsbury Metrolink

Stockport says Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has commissioned a detailed study of the BRT proposals. The routes would feature sections of bus-only road and on-street priority. Park-and-ride sites could be provided near Bramhall and Stanley Green.  

Recommended tram-train routes are:

• Stockport to Altrincham: an existing rail line with new stops

• Stockport to Airport: using the Stockport-Altrincham line with a new connection to the Manchester Airport Metrolink line

• East Didsbury to Hazel Grove: extending the Manchester-East Didsbury Metrolink line to join an existing freight-only line

• Manchester to Marple: an existing passenger railway

• Stockport-Marple: various possible alignments, including making use of the freight-only line via Reddish South

The councils suggest five possible locations for new rail stations: at Stanley Green on the Stockport-Wilmslow line; High Lane near Hazel Grove;  a second station for Chapel-en-le-Frith on the freight-only line from Chinley; and at Cheadle and Adswood on the Stockport to Altrincham line. 

The councils hope a TfGM study into future rail investments for the conurbation will endorse electrification of the Manchester-Buxton line. 

On roads, the draft strategy makes the case for an A6 to M60 Relief Road and associated Stepping Hill Link road (LTT 17 Oct 14). The relief road would be an eastern extension of the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR), which is currently under construction, and could relieve the A6 and A34 in Stockport. 

The road would destroy countryside, however, including in the Goyt Valley, and a local campaign is fighting the plan. Acknowledging the road’s controversy, the draft strategy says: “In the short-term, we recommend that further work is undertaken to progress the business case and undertake further environmental scoping, strategic modelling and public consultation to understand the impacts of the scheme.” 

The draft strategy also supports a High Lane-Disley Relief Road, to connect the A6 at Newtown with the A6 to M60 Relief Road near Hazel Grove. In doing so, it would provide a bypass for the villages of High Lane and Disley on the A6. 

Says the draft strategy: “Without this scheme, the A6 to M60 Relief Road would increase flows through this section, in addition to traffic induced by the soon to be opened A6MARR.”

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