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Plans to expand Metrolink as far as Stockport revealed

Metrolink lines to Stockport, Middleton and Heywood are included in new plans outlining options to expand the network.

The proposed new tram lines are part of a Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) blueprint showing how the network could grow in future.

In June, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham confirmed there will be new tram links connecting to the three towns.

The new plans also state the need for ‘building a business case for Bolton working with government, and complementary priorities.’

A Metrolink expansion to Stockport has been on the cards for years and appeared to move closer in March, when the new Stockport Transport Interchange opened.

The new map outlining the potential future of the network could see the East Didsbury line link to Stockport town centre.

Mr Burnham has previously said Stockport’s new interchange is “Metrolink ready” and that a business case for expanding the network is being put together.

The extension plans include the option of taking trams to Middleton, with tram-train lines linking Bury, Heywood, Rochdale, and Oldham around the Atom Valley business site.

There are also options to expand the tram network in Salford, with ‘1.5km of new construction’ needed to link Salford Quays and Salford Crescent, and further Metrolink lines being considered on the Trafford Park line to Salford Community Stadium and Port Salford.

The GMCA plans will see local train services brought into the Bee Network by 2028, with work to bring buses under local control taking place until 2025.

Eight ‘priority corridors’ have been earmarked to kickstart railway integration, involving existing lines in Wigan, Manchester Airport, Stockport, Ashton-under-Lyne, Rochdale, and others.

There are also 15 travel networks included as part of plans to grow Greater Manchester’s ‘rapid transit system’ – providing fast and frequent services for residents such as trains, trams, and buses.

The new plans for transport around the region will be presented at a GMCA meeting in Salford on Friday.

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