Busway and Metrolink extension proposed for Manchester Airport transport hub
Improved transport links to Manchester Airport, including a new bus and cycleway to Altrincham and improved east-west Metrolink connections, are among the proposals due to be submitted by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to the Government.
TfGM and Manchester City Council were granted £2.6m by the Department for Communities and Local Government to develop its growth strategy report in autumn last year, and will now be submitted to the DCLG following approval by the GMCA.
The strategy is due to be discussed at a meeting on Friday, and includes a number of recommendations to improve connectivity between the airport, the city centre and the rest of Greater Manchester.
One potential option put forward is the Western Loop Metrolink extension, which will link the planned HS2 station at Manchester Airport to Wythenshawe Hospital and the surrounding area.
The GMCA has also put forward proposals including a busway and cycleway that would link Altrincham with the airport’s HS2 station, while more buses will benefit from bus priority lanes on the existing road network. Local cycle networks to and from the airport will also be improved.
Existing platforms at the airport’s railway station would also need to be lengthened to accommodate longer trains to increase capacity.
The report also suggests a raft of road network improvements, including connecting the HS2 station with the M56; a new link road from the HS2 station to the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road; junction improvements at Styal Road and Finney Lane; and capacity enhancements on the M56 at junctions 5 and 6.
The proposals follow proposals for improvements in and around Manchester Piccadilly station, with a new underground railway station the council’s preferred option.
In a report to Manchester City Council’s executive, it was proposed that a new station could be built underneath the existing Piccadilly mainline station, which will host HS2 services from 2033. The new facility would be fully integrated into the existing station.
Other plans to further integrate transport at Piccadilly include a potential relocation of Manchester’s coach services to a new facility at Piccadilly, which would “provide a more direct route to the motorway network”.
There are also plans to increase Metrolink capacity across the city centre, which could be through tunnelled services and investment in the local rail network, subject to further feasibility assessments.