Tram-trains could run around Stockport, if aspirations in Stockport Borough Council’s rail strategy come to fruition.
The strategy looks at long-term provision and development of rail services in the area, and recommends the introduction of tram-trains on six routes: Manchester to Marple and Stockport town centre via Belle Vue; Stockport to Manchester Airport via Baguely; Stockport to Altrincham via Baguly; Stockport to East Didsbury; Hazel Grove to East Didsbury; and Stockport to Marple.
The council’s aim is to improve connectivity to and across the borough, and to make better use of railways that have relatively low-service frequency. Direct connections to Manchester Airport are also viewed as critical, given its importance to the regional economy and local employment.
Plans for tram-trains in Stockport follow a feasibility study undertaken by Transport for Greater Manchester in 2013, which recommended Manchester to Marple via Bredbury as the most viable route. A branch to Stockport Town Centre via Reddish South is proposed, and the council (with the full network set to be built incrementally as funding allows) regards this as the top priority.
The report also recommends: improvements to Stockport station; maintenance of current services on the Northern and TransPennine franchises; new stations at High Lane/Simpsons Corner, Adswood, Cheadle and Cheadle Heath; and to support aspirations for the HS2 terminus at Manchester Piccadilly to open as part of HS2 Phase 1.