Tram cut-off concerns to be heard in Parliament

WORRIES over Tameside’s tram line being cut off by work to build HS2 will be heard in Parliament.

The borough’s three MPs, Angela Rayner, Jonathan Reynolds and Andrew Gwynne, have won their bid to voice their concerns.

The multi-billion pound project will see faster trains and a reduced journey time between Manchester and London, if or when it is completed.

But while work is going on, the current tram line between Ashton and Manchester looks set to be blocked for two years.

And even though they have not yet been given a specific date when they will speak to the HS2 (Crewe-Manchester) Bill committee later this year, they will make their opinion heard.

Tameside MP’s joined by Council Leader Ged Cooney

Ashton MP Ms Rayner has already told the Government what she thinks of the plan to cut off the line.

In a letter, she wrote: “The proposal states that a bus replacement service will be in operation for the period of closure.

“This will present a level of disruption that is wholly unacceptable and will have a significant negative impact on my constituents.

“There is a stark difference in journey time from Ashton to the city centre depending on the mode of transport and this has not been factored in.

“The closure of this well-used Metrolink line will force many people to use their own cars for their daily commute at a time when Greater Manchester leaders are working to drive down air pollution.”

HS2 Ltd is proposing the closure of the Ashton Metrolink line despite an alternative proposal being put forward by Transport for Greater Manchester, which would allow the line to continue to operate.

And the trio were originally told by the firm their Tameside constituencies would not be ‘directly affected’ by the works.

However, after attending a ‘right to be heard’ hearing, the Bill committee decided they should be allowed to state their case in full, with Jonathan Reynolds being called as a witness due to the construction works falling just beyond the boundary of his constituency.

And in a joint statement, they said: “We are pleased that the committee has seen sense and decided that the elected representatives of Tameside do have a right to be heard.

Metrolink in Droyslden | Photo by Gemma Carter

“We were never in doubt that we had a right to speak up for our constituents and should not have been challenged by HS2 Ltd in this manner.

“While we are disappointed that Jonathan hasn’t been granted full right to be heard, we appreciate the committee’s decision to allow him to be called as a witness, where he will make a robust case about the impact the closure of the Metrolink line will have on his constituency.

“The decision to mothball the Ashton Metrolink line would have disastrous consequences for all our constituencies, severing a vital transport link for local people.

“TfGM have suggested an alternative proposal, which would allow construction to continue without damaging our constituencies. HS2 Ltd should do the right thing and work with local authorities during this process.

“We’ll continue to stand up for our constituents as this Bill progresses.”

3 Replies to “Tram cut-off concerns to be heard in Parliament”

  1. We have continued to endure constant disruption to the train services operating along the Huddersfield/ Manchester train line ,no service currently with upgrading work at Stalybridge, with Trans Pennine Express cancellations at little or no notice. The alternative when unavoidably stranded at Piccadilly is a metro tram to Ashton and a bus onwards to Mossley, Greenfield etc
    Now HS2 promises to close the Ashton route for 2 years. Massively disadvantaging Tameside commuters just so rich commuters can arrive in the Great Wen twenty minutes earlier than they might otherwise have strikes and inefficient rail companies permitting.

  2. Glossop, Stalybridge, Ashton, Droylsden, all depressed towns in serious need to be upgraded billions need to be spent all have rail links all need upgrading ministry of transport should correct road services forget HS2 straight lines which means anything in it’s path will be flattened we are a small island we are not Japan.
    The metro link is the future Ashton is hopefully going to be upgraded next year millions to be spent on new buildings and employment to shut off the metro line for 2 years would destroy what Tameside are trying to achieve can we have an assessment of how many people need to travel to London at speed from the above towns HS2 funds should be used to extend the Metro link.
    As a risk assessment been done to property’s and future damage that may effect local areas to this straight line speed noise another bright idea that will be another concord.
    Roy Ashworth

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