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Update on Stockport’s Metrolink expansion could be shared next week, councillor hints

Wednesday, 3 April 2024 10:49

By Declan Carey, Local Democracy Reporter

An update on a Metrolink extension to Stockport could be shared over the next week, a Labour councillor has hinted.

David Meller, leader of Stockport Labour Group, told a town hall meeting last night that he would be “surprised” if Andy Burnham’s campaign to be re-elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester did not come with an announcement about a tram extension.

This could be about creating a tram connection from Stockport to the airport.

But the Local Democracy Reporting Service understands Greater Manchester Combined Authority is not aware of an imminent tram update.

Coun Meller said: “I would be very surprised when the Mayor launches his election campaign over the next week or so, that there isn’t some form of announcement in relation to Metrolink coming to Stockport.

“Who knows, there could be a tram from the interchange to Manchester Airport, you never know.”

Stockport has been waiting for years for a Metrolink extension, which it sees as the next step in the borough’s transformation.

Recent projects such as the opening of the new transport interchange and work to replace bridges in Stockport town centre have been planned to accommodate a future extension of the tram network.

Mr Burnham has promised to share an update on the business case for bringing Metrolink to the town this year.

But Lib Dem councillors said progress has not been as fast as they would like.

Coun Grace Baynham, the town hall’s transport chief, was asked when the tram will be extended to the area.

She said: “The council has spent a lot of time and resources to futureproof for Metrolink, not just into Stockport interchange but also around the borough.

“We continue to press the case for Metrolink to Stockport, we’re one of the very few borough’s in Greater Manchester that’s yet to have the benefit of Metrolink despite paying for it via the money we pay into the Greater Manchester authority.

“I think we have a strong case for Metrolink which we continue to make. Unfortunately, it’s not as far advanced as we would like, we’re still trying to get the Greater Manchester authority to give us the money for the business case.”

At the recent opening of Stockport transport interchange, Mr Burnham said Transport for Greater Manchester is putting together a “watertight” case to present to the government to secure funding for the expansion.

He said a decision on the expansion could be made by the summer.

Councillors in Stockport have called for the tram to be extended around the borough when it arrives, not just to the town centre.

Marple and Hazel Grove were discussed as potential stops for the network.

Construction work to bring the tram to the town could cost up to £1 billion, according to a Stockport council report.

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