Consultation underway for Second City Crossing

Transport for Greater Manchester has started a period of consultation into plans for a second Metrolink route through Manchester city centre.

The new route, known as Second City Crossing, is proposed to run from the Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink stop through St Peter's Square, along Princess Street, Cross Street and Corporation Street, re-joining the existing Metrolink line just outside Victoria Station.

Transport for Greater Manchester is holding 13 exhibitions between June and August in the city and is asking the public to submit their views by 9 September 2011.

TfGM is promoting the scheme, also known as 2CC, and said a number of route options were explored.

TfGM, formerly titled Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, said the potential solutions for a second Metrolink line through the city centre were assessed against various criteria and reduced to two main route options.

These were the Cross Street/Corporation Street route and the Chester Road/Deansgate route. TfGM said Cross Street was selected as the preferred route because it:

  • has short journey times
  • can be designed to suit the local heritage
  • removes the need for significant new structures, such as bridges
  • incorporates two new stops, helping more passengers get to the city centre without having to change trams
  • provides better links to the existing network and improved flexibility for future services
  • is relatively short and reduces construction time and cost
  • offers significantly better value for money than the Chester Road/Deansgate route

TfGM is working closely with Manchester City Council to develop and refine the detail of the Cross Street route to run through St Peter's Square, which the council is planning to turn into a largely pedestrianised square.

Transport for Greater Manchester's artist impression of how St Peter’s Square could lookTransport for Greater Manchester said the existing stop in St Peter's Square will be relocated to the northern end of the square, near to the Mosley Street and Princess Street junction and the existing tracks will be realigned between Elisabeth House and the Central Library.

TfGM added that after initial discussions with key stakeholders, it was agreed that the area of the square by the Cooper Street entrance to the Town Hall provided an appropriate setting for the Cenotaph at St Peter's Square, which would need to be relocated.

A new Metrolink stop in Exchange Square would be created as part of the 2CC plans, which TfGM argues will offer good accessibility to that area of the city centre.

Within TfGM's public consultation document, it says the proposed Second City Crossing route passes through a number of conservation areas and adjacent to many listed buildings.

The transport organisation said it is working closely with the council and amenity bodies "to develop these proposals in a sensitive manner that integrates with the urban realm and ensures that appropriate consideration is given to the city's rich heritage". TfGM said the design detail will include using building fixings instead of overhead line poles where appropriate to keep the street furniture to a minimum.

Highway changes in the plans include a section of Princess Street being closed, between George Street and Cooper Street, to all traffic except busses which will prevent car commuters accessing John Dalton Street and Bridge Street via Princess Street.

TfGM said the Second City Crossing scheme will increase operational capacity for all the Metrolink extensions, including services beyond those currently committed.

A new line to Media City UK in Salford Quays has recently opened and Metrolink extensions to Chorlton, Droylsden, Oldham and Rochdale will open during 2011 and 2012.

In addition, Metrolink extensions are under way from Chorlton to east Didsbury, from Droylsden to Ashton-under-Lyne town centre, through Oldham and Rochdale town centres and to Manchester Airport.

TfGM said within its document that the impact of all the funded Metrolink extensions and service enhancements will be to treble, by 2021, the number of passengers accessing the city centre by tram.

Following a period of tendering, TfGM said construction of the 2CC scheme is likely to commence in 2013 and the new Metrolink Second City Crossing extension is planned to be in service late in 2016.

Transport for Greater Manchester said there are three ways people can submit their views on the proposed new route and the relocation of the Cenotaph:

  • Visit the TfGM website here to complete the online consultation form
  • Complete and return the response form in the brochure available from Travelshops in Piccadilly Gardens and Shudehill Interchange or at one of TfGM's public exhibitions
  • Alternatively, email 2cc.metrolink@tfgm.com to register comments

Public exhibitions will take place on the following dates:

DATE

VENUE

TIME

Monday 27 June

Manchester Town Hall

9am-5pm

Wednesday 29 June

Exchange Court Manchester Arndale

9am-8pm

Thursday 30 June

Victoria Station

7am-7pm

Saturday 2 July

Exchange Court Manchester Arndale

9am-8pm

Tuesday 5 July

Victoria Station

7am-7pm

Thursday 7 July

Manchester Town Hall

9am-5pm

Sunday 10 July

Exchange Court Manchester Arndale

10am-6pm

Monday 11 July

Bridgewater Hall

8am-5.30pm

Thursday 14 July

Manchester Town Hall

9am-5pm

Saturday 16 July

Triangle

9am-6pm

Tuesday 19 July

Manchester Town Hall

9am-5pm

Saturday 23 July

Triangle

9am-6pm

Tuesday 2 August

Bridgewater Hall

8am-5.30pm

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