Stockport and Cheshire East residents will have until 16 July to give feedback on SEMMMS, the South East Manchester Multi-Modal Strategy, with options on the table including a tram-train network to connect Stockport with Hazel Grove, Didsbury, and Altrincham.
The consultation started in March this year, and the updated framework will replace the existing strategy which was adopted in 2001 for a 20-year period.
Fresh proposals will seek to address the additional pressure on commuter routes as the area’s population grows, and will cover infrastructure across rail, road, bus, bike, and on foot.
The draft strategy, prepared by consultant Atkins, includes eight major priorities: improvements throughout the A34 corridor; new rapid bus transit systems; improvements to Manchester Airport, Stockport, and Macclesfield transport interchanges; enhanced rail networks; the introduction of a tram-train to connect Stockport with neighbouring areas; multi-modal improvements to the A6 corridor; greater integration of transport with land-use planning; and further development of cycling and walking networks.
The tram-train proposal is set to link East Didsbury with Hazel Grove via Heaton Mersey by connecting to an existing rail freight line, and would feature new stops at Gorsey Bank, Edgeley, Woodsmoor, Davenport, and Hazel Grove.
There are also plans outlined for a Stockport to Altrincham tram-train including new stops at Timperley, Baguley, Cheadle, and Adswood, while the existing Airport Metrolink line would also link to this network.
Also proposed are new train stations at Stanley Gren, Cheadle, Adswood, and High Lane.
A key part of the original strategy, adopted in 2001, was the Manchester Airport relief road, which is currently being under construction, alongside the Poynton Relief Road which is also being progressed by Cheshire East Council. The latter development is set to open by 2020.
The Airport relief road, designed to link the A6 at Hazel Grove to the M56, has experienced various delays, and its latest completion date has been set for the end of summer this year.
The consultation documents can be viewed here.