The next milestone in Stockport’s £1billion transformation started this week as works commenced to build a new cycling and walking link between the new transport interchange and Station Road in the area
The 195-metre cycling and walking connection, which has been funded through the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund (MCF), will provide a traffic-free, accessible route which links the railway station to the major new interchange and rooftop park.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “This transformational cycling and walking link for Stockport town centre will offer a much-needed connection from the new interchange to the railway station, and bring us one step further to realising the ambitious vision of the Stockport MDC.
“By providing a safe and accessible cycling and walking route between the two, it will support the wider Bee Network vision of providing a truly integrated transport system and revolutionise the way people travel in Stockport town centre, connecting bus, rail and active travel, and allowing seamless journeys across the borough and beyond.”
Due to open 2024, the link – a bridge above Daw Bank merging into a cycling and walking path up to Station Road – has a gentle gradient over the embankment land allowing easy access for people travelling up and down on foot, bicycle or wheelchair, as well as two seated rest areas along the route.
The route will be open 24 hours, with lighting and CCTV providing additional security and reassurance to passengers using the connection between the two transport hubs.
Councillor Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “This new walking and cycling link will provide a fantastic link between our two transport hubs, and provide even greater access to our town centre and the Trans Pennine Trail. In addition, it will allow those arriving on train to visit our new town centre park, that will provide a new greenspace in the heart of Stockport.
“It’s incredibly exciting to see the progress that has been made so far on site with work already well underway on creating the new residential development. I’m really looking forward to following the progress over the upcoming months.”
Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), said: “I’m delighted to see the work start on this new link in Stockport which will transform access to the town centre for people walking, wheeling or cycling.
“As a teenager I spent a lot of time swim training in Stockport and so I know the area incredibly well. The changes already taking place are superb and this link will not just create convenient access between the two transport hubs but also a place that people can meet each other and go on to spend time in the town centre or park area. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all complete and working alongside the other developments in the town.”
The work supports the ongoing Stockport Town Centre West redevelopment, which will see the regeneration of a 130-acre site including new housing, leisure and workspace. There will also be major public realm, transport and infrastructure improvements as part of the plans being delivered by the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC), working with public and private sector partners, including TfGM and Homes England.
Lord Bob Kerslake, Chairman of the Stockport MDC, said: “Over the recent months, we have seen huge progress made across the regeneration sites in Stockport. In just a matter of weeks, we have announced a contractor partner to deliver the historic and sensitive Weir Mill redevelopment into a new mixed-use district, and launched a new 8-acre neighbourhood to market.
“The Stockport MDC, in partnership with organisations such as Transport for Greater Manchester, is delivering rapid, ambitious change for Stockport with a focus on creating one of the most sustainable, connected and liveable town centres in Greater Manchester.”
The project is a major part of the wider £1billion investment in Stockport town centre, and is being delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Stockport MDC, Stockport Council, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in conjunction with building contractor, Willmott Dixon, and development partner, CityRise.
The new Interchange will act as a welcoming gateway into Stockport town centre.
It will see much improved facilities for bus users and improved connectivity between the town centre, the Trans Pennine Trail and the railway station, as well as improved accessibility between the interchange and the A6.
A major feature of the scheme is the two-acre rooftop park which will improve leisure and recreation opportunities in the town centre and create more green space for everyone to enjoy.
As part of the wider development, residential partners CityRise will deliver a residential development comprising 196 high quality apartments to provide new homes into the heart of the town centre and help tackle the need for future housing.