Stockport Interchange CGI(2)
The £120m interchange being brought forward by Stockport Council factors in a potential Metrolink stop

Stockport prepares £1bn Metrolink bid

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Stockport Council and Transport for Greater Manchester are set to request between £500m and £1bn from the Government to deliver an extension of the Metrolink line from East Didsbury to the town centre.

The Government has previously signalled its support in principle for the extension of the network, when the Greater Manchester Combined Authority released its ambitions to expand the Metrolink, potentially using tram-trains, alongside the rewrite of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework last January.

TfGM and the council have already paved the way for trams to integrate with other transport networks in Stockport; the £120m redevelopment of Stockport Interchange due to start on site this year factors in a Metrolink route and stop, and is backed by £40m of Government Growth Fund money.

Stockport Council and TfGM will now work up a business case for the Metrolink extension, which is set to cost between £500m and £1bn, and will also request Government grant the necessary transport planning powers at the same time as the funding. If funding is granted, a start on site could begin by 2025.

The council is arguing that the creation of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation, which is overseeing a 130-acre masterplan set to deliver 3,500 homes, and up to 1m sq ft of offices in the town, already brings together key stakeholders in the creation of the Metrolink, so could fast-track the implementation of the transport project.

Alongside the announcement of work starting on the Metrolink business-case, Lord Bob Kerslake was announced as the chairman of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation. Lord Kerslake has a background in local and national Government, with roles in the Homes & Communities Agency, Sheffield City Council and civil service. He is currently lead of the 2070 Commission, a think tank producing research into the economic disparity between the North and South.

At an announcement event in Stockport today, Burnham insisted that since the general election “the Government is listening” to requests from the North for much-needed investment in infrastructure.

“There is a national debate around the North, as well as delivering stronger towns and town centres,” Burnham said.

“Stockport is uniquely placed to deliver a new vision and show on a national stage what a northern town can be.

“When the Chancellor visited Stockport recently he was impressed with the progress on the Metrolink extension into Trafford, which is opening seven months ahead of schedule. We have demonstrated a track record for delivery, and with the creation of the Mayoral Development Corporation, it cuts through the potential time delays by getting all the necessary parties around the table, and puts us in a strong position.”

Commenting on the appointment of Kerslake, Burnham described it as “a real coup for Stockport”.

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Great news and will be a great asset, but start in 2025? Considering it could take a good couple of years to complete, this is a long time to wait considering how long this extension has been known. Still… better late than never.


Is this needed in a town with a London train link? I think spending money on Stockport should be way down the agenda. The government should start by giving Leigh and Middleton some decent transport. They have actually voted Tory.

By Elephant

Am I missing something here but as maligned as trains are, Stockport has trains every 3-5 mins to Manchester Piccadilly for around £4 with a journey time of 8-10mins. Same journey with Metrolink will be more expensive, lower frequency every 12min with a journey time of around 40mins? I get slightly improved connectivity around south Manchester but is this little sweetie a softener for hs2 shafting?

By Just askin

How foolish it now seems that 50 years ago British Rail told the M60 builders that they had no further use for the Railway to Stockport. Short sighted.

By Robert Bracegirdle

Stockport has an excellent train service to Manchester Piccadilly from where you can join the metro tram system so I would have thought a train or tram link to the airport would be more of useful.

By Anonymous

Stockport and it’s Cheshire neighbours are already very affluent and well connected. How about some funds to improve transport in north Manchester. Bolton, Rochdale and Oldham are the poor relations and are much more in need.

By Anonymous

There is already a route connecting Stockport to Manchester via south reddish, Denton, and stalybride. All of which would benefit from metrolink. Forget east didsbury link. But I am sure, some contractor has already done a deal with Stockport council.

By David whittaker

Elephant unfortunately many areas of Stockport also voted Tory and have done for many years.

By Anonymous

Ideaology of bureaucratic fools ,rail link exists to point of max 1w to 14 minutes tram expectation if achieved 40 mins us also slight M60 problem in planning an connectivity to east didsbury at or near tesco

By Philip jackson

That figure seems incredibly high considering the entire Trafford line supposedly cost £350 million…?

This is only a one or two stop extension, unless I’m missing something?

If this hails the introduction of tram-trains in Greater Manchester then I’m all for it it’ll open a lot of other opportunities but if it’s just one or two more stops I’d say there are other priorities ahead of this.

By ?

In my personnel opinion, it’s a lie, MSNBC are after 500m, which has been turned back x 3 times, now they are after it another way to get the funding for the bypass extension. Unworthy to govern and corrupt. Mark my words if they get it the bypass extension will happen.

Corrupt the lot of them impo

Simon Stafford and I’m.proud to say it , corrupt

By Simon stafford

Another benefit being it would keep a lot of Old Trafford football passengers out of the city centre I guess.

By ?

Up to £1bn?! I completely understand the need for better transport connections and an extended Metrolink, but £1bn seems expensive for a short extension where the previous alignment is largely there (National Cycle Routes 55, 62 and existing roads).

By S

Note to By Elephant; Stockport regularly returns two Tory MP’s – Hazel Grove and Cheadle constituencies are both entirely within the borough and have both been Tory more often than not since WW2, not just in 2019 like Leigh etc
Your main point however stands; Stockport town centre must surely already have the fastest, most frequent services to Manchester of anywhere in the country.

By AltPoV

Great news!! As I grew up in London and literally watched the underground expand continuously, I have always thought why hasn’t Stockport or Manchester got these train transport so minimal. I reckon a train from Stockport to Trafford would be more beneficial as there’s already trains that go to Manchester town. Either way I love watching stockport/Manchester develop to a great city it is!

By Grace Zola

@by just askin – It allows better connectivity TO Stockport as a destination for work/leisure from the affluent suburbs of Chorlton and Didsbury etc. It should increase opportunities for investment in Stockport and also reduce car usage along the congested stretch of the M60 and the A34 potentially.

By Danger Mouse

Metrolink isn’t about end-to-end journeys. People will use the tram to get from Stockport into south Manchester, and to Cornbrook to interchange for trams to the Quays and Trafford Centre.

This will also turn Stockport station into a south Manchester rail head for southbound trains, taking some pressure off Piccadilly.

By Anonymous

@just askin…you could say the same for the airport metrolink line. Trains get there quicker too. It about connecting up the neighbourhoods in between

By Steve

Great news as congestion along the East to West A6 corridor is horrendous and a huge pollutant. Something however has to be done to ease traffic from Marple, Romiley and High Lane … reopening the Rose Hill -> Middlewood rail line could provide a direct link into Stockport! I am surprised this isn’t being mooted!

By Ian

Complete waste of money.

By Dan

Stockport needs it’s town centre updated like Trafford centre more money needs to be spent so more people come in to shop and it would carate more jobs .

By Julie

The time has come to be thinking about going underground in my opinion.

By Anon

The parts of Stockport which voted Tory have train stations , I believe? Stockport itself hasn’t voted Tory since Thatcher was PM. GM is Britain in miniature, as all the investment is going into the same bits. This needs to change. Bolton is just as worthy of the tram as is Wigan. Leigh however has nothing apart from those pathetic Guided buses down the East Lancs. There is no train or tram between Bury and Bolton. All these are far more of a priority than Stockport having access to eateries in Didsbury and the Heatons.

By Elephant

Great news. We need Stockport town centre updating to better standards surly you can spend a lot more money on it Trafford centre is a shopping mall do the same with Stockport .

By Tina

Apparently the high cost is because the proposed route would have to cross both a river and the M60.

By Manc Man

If Bolton Council want Metrolink then they shouldn’t have allowed developers to build houses on all the disused railway lines (e.g. potential tram lines) into the town centre. It will be Bolton Council’s fault if Metrolink never arrives in the borough, not TfGM’s.

By Anonymous

Good news. Lets hope this get’s approved.

Instead of whinging that Stockport is asking more money to help boost connectivity for public transport, lets encourage more authorities to do the same. There are plans for most of the places mentioned, and I’m sure their schemes are also going to be coming forward for funding pretty soon.


I hope Julie and Tina are the same person

By Dan

Brilliant news, now get on with it. Stockport needs to be connected to the rest of Manchester, not everyone want just to go to the city centre.

By Unimpressed

I agree that it would be more beneficial to provide the Metrolink in other areas which have much lower accessibility to public transport links, but if they’re redeveloping and regenerating large areas of Stockport including the town centre, then it seems like a much better time to incorporate the Metrolink into these designs.

By L

£1 billion for 3 miles of tram track? Makes Crossrail seem cheap

By Cheapskate

If the service can be extended to Hazel Grove (maybe High Lane as well) it would dramatically reduce the traffic around the M60 southern belt. I’d catch the tram to Didsbury where I currently work and be able to leave the car at home. More of the suburbs need light passenger transport and buses are not the answer – just look at the 192 on the A6 – too many. A connected system of trams, trains and tram-trains with buses etc would really have an impact on our city. There’s a huge park and ride at Hazel Grove as well – sadly nowhere near the station. They could move the station though to integrate better – that’s not unfeasible…


The economic vitality of Stockport is clearly growing by the day, and connecting it to Metrolink helps it grow faster, and allows other parts of GM to share that growth, but to follow-up on Elephant we shouldn’t need to choose between areas that are struggling and those that are growing. Maybe we’ll see Middleton, Wigan, Bolton and the like picked up in later announcements.

By Rich X

Not just east didsbury that needs a link to Stockport. Marple has dreadful rail links to manc that need upgrading and no fixed link to Stockport at all. Opportunity for government to make good on their promise to forgotten places, but I’m not holding my breath.

By Peter Black

It’s a significant hub and requires extra connectivity and capacity. Simple.


It would be great if eventually the line could spur off towards Tameside. The amount of traffic from the wider Tameside areas using Denton as a cut through to Stockport; the area could really benefit from a better option then buses and would do wonders for reducing traffic and improving air quality.

By Aevis

Wot a waste of money nobody comes to Stockport because we have nothing no shops no night life bobbins

By Paul

This may help to spread civilisation to Stockport and those in the hills.

By Andy

Although the airport is on the Stockport border the public transport links between the airport and the borough are pathetic. A better metrolink would be too the airport which then joins the rest of the network through Wythenshawe.

By Monty

I don’t think transport to the airport is needed, most people will use the car.

By Dan

I love how the Metrolink is free for most people.

By Floyd

great news: better connection to Stockport. An extension from Didsbury
village to the Christie Hospital along the Wilmslow Road would be of great help to patients and staff


good news: better connection to Stockport. An extension from Didsbury
village to the Christie Hospital along the Wilmslow Road would be of great help to patients and staff


Metrolink has passed us Stockport folk by for years, so it is about time we got some connectivity. Stockport station has great links but the roads are ridiculously clogged and short journeys in to Didsbury are pretty poorly served in terms of public transport.

I’d love to see Semms extended between Hazel Grove and the M60 at Bredbury because that would have a transformational impact on village centres and roads. Extending metrolink out to Hazel Grove/High Lane would also be fantastic.

Stockport seems to suffer from an ‘all links lead to Manchester’. Can the Metrolink help alleviate this?

Whether some voted Tory, Labour or monster raving loony is by the by, we deserve good transport links and investment.


Great news. The train system cannot cope. Metro shuttle services are key to Stockport

By Jim

Connecting Stockport to what ? Surely the best tramway link would be DIRECT to Manchester, after all the old railway line it will use was closed for a very good reason – no demand.

By Howard Piltz

Hopefully any extension to the system which will cost so much money will include access to public toilets during the hours of operation.

By Geoff Roberts

Stockport the poor man’s Birkenhead

By Anonymous

Despite some of the negative comments , the tram is the future of environmentally friendly travel , so the more lines the better .

By Jason

About time!

By T W

More Links for South & East Manchester whereas the North & West gets nothing apart from a tram for 3 miles and a miserly guided busway.

By Nonchalant

Hopefully the authorities will see reason and if the the metro link goes ahead to Stockport it will be the cheadle route not through the public open spaces alongside the Mersey valley and Mersey vale nature park. We have so little green space left in this built up area for people to enjoy, our small urban greenspaces are being swallowed up are being swallowed up every which way so there no room for people to have space to enjoy anymore

By Duff pilkington