A transport renaissance in Stockport
Improving Stockport’s transport infrastructure
The centre of Stockport is undergoing transformational change, making it a great place to live, work and invest. In order to ensure that Stockport retains its unrivalled connectivity, plans are in place to revitalise the town’s transport infrastructure.
The number of visitors to Stockport railway station is growing each year, with 3.5million passengers in the last 12 months. From Stockport, passengers can travel to and from London in under two hours, and to and from Manchester in less than 10 minutes on the West Coast Main Line. Work is already underway with Stockport Council, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Network Rail and Virgin Trains to ensure that this hub for regional rail services is ready for the arrival of high-speed rail in the North West.
The station, which is conveniently located next to the M60 Motorway, is a pivotal asset for the 290,000 residents of Stockport and for the wider catchment area of around 1.5million people. It is also a main Interchange for the Greater Manchester, Cheshire East, Derbyshire and West Yorkshire regions.
Stockport Council’s Rail Station Masterplan sets out an ambitious vision with redeveloped concourses, better access to platforms via a new footbridge and improved waiting facilities.
In partnership with TfGM, there are also plans to develop a new modern Transport Interchange with improved bus services.
Stockport Exchange has created a new gateway to Stockport railway station with improved public realm, a 1,000 space multi-storey car park, popular 115-bed Holiday Inn Express, independent café and Sainsbury’s Local already in place. Plans for the next phases are well underway.
These developments, along with road improvements planned for Stockport town centre, will reduce traffic in Mersey Square, one of the prime entrances into the town centre’s main shopping centre, creating a safer and more enjoyable space for pedestrians.
Funding for the Interchange is being supported by the Government through the Greater Manchester Local Growth Deal. A phased delivery will see a new road bridge built across the River Mersey at Astley Street linking Heaton Lane to the Interchange.
Stockport is also the location for a pilot programme, Project Synergy, testing driverless electric cars. The project will see three low-carbon electric sports cars driven in close formation between Stockport railway station and Manchester International Airport.
Project Synergy is expected to be trialled at the end of 2018 and is being led by a consortium made up of Westfield Sports Cars, Conigital, Fusion, Harper Adams University and partners in Greater Manchester including Manchester Airports Group, Manchester City Council and Stockport Council.
“Great connectivity is a really important selling point for Stockport town centre. The number of rail services available taking passengers to a wide range of destinations is astounding. The plans are looking to the future, making sure that people can travel for business and pleasure with ease. The thought and detail that is going into this transport transformation will ensure that Stockport is a key gateway and ultimately a great destination.”