The council is to draw down £100,000 of TfGM funding to explore options around creating a bus and train interchange at the town’s existing railway station that could link to Greater Manchester’s light rail network in the future.
Tameside’s desire to see the Metrolink network extended eastwards to include Stalybridge is outlined in its Inclusive Growth Strategy 2021-2016.
As it stands, the Metrolink network only reaches as far as Ashton-under-Lyne, 2.5 miles away.
Talk about creating a Metrolink station in Stalybridge has been ongoing for a number of years. In 2018, Jonathan Reynolds, member of parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde, expressed his desire to see the town added to the network.
Tameside is not the only council keen to see the Metrolink’s extended. Rochdale wants to see a spur created to connect Middleton with the Bury and Rochdale lines, while Stockport has requested up to £1bn from the government to back the extension of the line from East Didsbury.
A report to Tameside Council’s executive requests the committee approve the drawdown of cash from Transport for Greater Manchester to undertake the Stalybridge Interchange Options Study.
Any potential Metrolink expansion would form part of the proposed Stalybridge Interchange.
The interchange project aims to consolidate the town’s bus and train stations into one hub, relocating the former to be closer to the latter.
Currently, the town’s bus station is located 300 metres from the train station.
This project was highlighted in the Stalybridge Town Centre Challenge Action Plan.
A consultancy team is to procured for the interchange options study this month to “develop options for a potential new transport interchange in and around the existing rail station linked to the wider programme of regeneration in the town centre and mindful of potential for future Metrolink/tram train services”, according to the executive report.
The results of the study will be reported back to the council next March.
The interchange project is one part of a wider plan to regenerate Stalybridge.
In June, Tameside lodged a £14.5m bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund to progress a series of projects in Stalybridge including the rationalisation of surplus retail space for alternative commercial uses and making improvements to public realm and accessibility within the town centre.