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Brand new travel hub ushers in new era for town’s public transport

A new era is dawning in Stockport, with more good news this week.

A crisply minted £140m public transport hub opened in Stockport this week.

The unveiling of the modern transport hub, Stockport Interchange, alongside a sprawling rooftop park dubbed Viaduct Park, signifies a historic moment for Stockport.

Stockport Interchange opens

Photo credit: Stockport Council

The interchange, a collaborative effort between Stockport Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, has been completed within schedule and budget.

You can’t say that very often now, can you?

Designed to enhance connectivity, the interchange boasts 18 bus stands facilitating up to 164 departures per hour.

This integration into the Bee Network aligns with Greater Manchester’s vision for a slick public transport network like London’s.

The “modern and attractive transport hub” will de-define the town’s connectivity, say council bosses.

It also contains a huge new two-acre park, recently named Viaduct Park, as well as new walking and cycling links to the railway station and the town centre.

It is the first phase of the transformational regeneration of Stockport Town Centre West.

Stockport’s £1bn town centre regeneration journey

And in a further boost to Stockport’s  £1bn town centre regeneration journey, this summer a landmark new 14-storey residential development with 196 one and two-bedroom apartments and commercial space will open as part of the scheme.

The opening also coincided with the arrival of the walking and cycling route from Viaduct Park to Station Road, connecting the interchange to the town’s train station.

From late April an eye-catching spiral and cycle walking ramp will connect the new park with the River Mersey frontage and Trans Pennine Trail, giving people easy access between the park and the town centre on cycle or foot.

A new stretch of the banks of the Mersey will be opened up, creating a riverside space that can be enjoyed by the public.

The interchange is a major project costing £140m with construction starting in 2021.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham

“Stockport now has a world-class transport interchange that will play a key role in bringing prosperity to the town and its people in the future,” said Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.

“Safe, reliable and affordable public transport and active travel facilities are central to improving life for people and businesses in Greater Manchester and I have no doubt this impressive new interchange will do just that.

“These new connections will open up more opportunities for people to access jobs, skills and education while supporting the regeneration of the area by attracting increased footfall and investment.

“When we set up the Mayoral Development Corporation it was about delivering an ambitious vision for the town and the interchange is showing this mission in action.

“It has also been delivered on time and on budget – and I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen.

“In January 2025, the Bee Network is coming to Stockport and eventually it will be the first area in Greater Manchester serviced by a fully electric bus fleet.

“By providing people with a modern, attractive and accessible interchange we will get more people on these buses – allowing us to keep prices down and continue to improve the network.”

What else will be at Stockport Interchange?

Clean, safe and welcoming, facilities at the new interchange include a covered concourse with seated waiting areas, information screens showing real-time bus and train information and a ticket and information.

There are also fully accessible toilets and changing places facilities, lifts and ramps providing step-free access, wayfinding lines and tactile stand indicators.

Cycle parking facilities can be found in the A6 archway along the Mersey Frontage, while a taxi rank for customers is located near the Interchange Pavilion exit on Mersey Square.

Eamonn Boylan, Interim Chair of Stockport MDC

“This year marks five years since Stockport MDC was established as a key delivery vehicle for Stockport’s trailblazing regeneration,” said Eamonn Boylan, Interim Chair of Stockport MDC.

“It is a testament to the expertise and collaboration of our board and partners that we have been able to open a landmark scheme for the region in that time frame, despite the substantial socio-economic challenges.

“Delivering improved connectivity to employment and leisure experiences in the town and wider region, the Interchange is a key milestone in our mission to transform Stockport into the most liveable town in the UK.

“Over the course of 2024 we will see even more major milestones brought forward within the Town Centre West masterplan, which will cement Stockport’s position as one of the most exciting, and, arguably more importantly, the most convenient, towns to live.”

Stockport named the best place to live in Northwest

The leader of Stockport was hugely excited about Stockport’s prospects for the upcoming year – and he’s not the only one.

2024 has already been a huge year for Stockport.

It has been getting a huge amount of praise for the innovative ways they are breathing life back into the city.

“Stockport has always been pioneering and ambitious, establishing itself as a leading centre for textiles during the Industrial Revolution and setting the standard for urban renewal with the ‘space age’ Merseyway shopping centre – a 1960s feat of engineering across the River Mersey,” said Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council.

“And our £1bn town centre regeneration programme – one of the largest nationally – is reinventing and spectacularly transforming the heart of our borough now and for the future.

“We have this week been named the best place to live in the North West by the Sunday Times and are already among the 12 best places to retire in the UK (Which?) and one of the 12 best places to buy your first home (The Times).

“However, we are committed to making Stockport a place of opportunity for all. A place everyone is proud to call home.

“The Interchange and Viaduct Park are the real heartbeat of Stockport’s £1billion transformation and this is only the start for our borough.”

Green initiatives at Stockport Interchange

Under construction since 2021, the Interchange has sustainability at its heart – opening up public transport and active travel options to people from across the area, improving air quality and reducing congestion.

It features a host of green technologies including a ‘blue-roof’ rainwater attenuation system and an array of photo voltaic panels.

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