Tram trains on horizon for Stockport

Stockport Council and Transport for Greater Manchester have today published a vision for rail travel that calls for tram-trains linking Marple with Piccadilly – but this remains a "longer-term project" says TfGM.

The plan calls for the existing Marple to Manchester Piccadilly service to be converted to a tram-train system, and in turn connected to Stockport town centre. This would be the start of a southern orbital network for Metrolink, connecting the east of Greater Manchester to Manchester Airport, via Stockport town centre.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the TfGM Committee, said: "At this point, tram-train is one of the longer term projects for Greater Manchester and it is something we will continue to support as strongly as we can.

"Since we agreed an initial strategy at the end of 2013, a lot of detailed work has been undertaken to ensure that, as and when the opportunity arises in terms of both funding and powers, we can realise the benefits of tram-train as soon as possible.

"This very useful report from Stockport Council will feed into our future plans and inform our ongoing engagement with Rail North."

Stockport's latest strategy includes improving existing suburban railway stations to increase services and install better bicycle storage facilities, lighting and CCTV.

The reports calls for a new masterplan for Stockport station to consider making improvements to the signage and platform layout, refurbished waiting and retail areas and toilet facilities.

The plan welcomes HS2 and sets out to reinforce Stockport's place on existing West Coast Main Line services, which could connect to the new high speed line in Birmingham.

Cllr Iain Roberts, deputy leader of Stockport Council, said: "It is important we continue to work closely with our partners such as Transport for Greater Manchester to develop these plans now to ensure that we can move our aspirations forward in the future. We fully recognise the importance of the rail network to local communities right across Stockport including those currently served where improvement is required, and to those currently outside the network. We are committed to working together with all partners and stakeholders to deliver this exciting plan."

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