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Andy Burnham gives strongest hint yet Stockport WILL get tram

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has given his strongest hint yet that the Metrolink network WILL go to Stockport.

Appearing on BBC Radio Manchester’s ‘In The Hotseat’ phone-in for the first time since he was re-elected as mayor with nearly two-thirds of the vote, the Labour politician was quizzed by host Mike Sweeney on his plans to use money re-allocated from the now-cancelled HS2 railway line to Manchester.

He asked: “There appears to be enough money heading this way from HS2 for two tram lines — where are they going to be?”

“We are about to say more on that,” Mr Burnham replied. “What we have is an appraisal. There are a lot more places saying ‘we need it’. The bottom line is a new extension in the south and one to the north of the city-region. It will also show the scoring for other [proposals].” 

After saying more details would be revealed to the public in early June, Mr Burnham faced another question from a Stockport resident called Tom, asking about timescales "specifically on the new line to Stockport, not that we have had confirmation on that", and the other new line mentioned by the mayor.

In answering, Mr Burnham gave his strongest hint yet that the Greater Manchester town will be connected up to the trams.

“I would like to see them built in the decade,” he replied. “The [government approval] can be done fairly soon. We do have a fairly generous capital allocation for Greater Manchester [from the government].

“The new Stockport Interchange has been built with tram capability. We have to continue extending Metrolink.”

Also on the programme, when probed about the possibility of a charging clean air zone being introduced, the mayor reiterated his opposition to charging motorists in the city-region. 

However, he added that his office could examine the possibility of ‘time restrictions’ on HGVs being driven into the city centre — something he told voters he would look at during the election campaign.

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