Tameside Council and transport leaders have marked an important milestone in the construction of Ashton’s new transport interchange, visiting the site to see the completion of its steel superstructure.
Cllr Brenda Warrington, leader of Tameside Council and Cllr Warren Bray, Tameside’s executive member for strategic development and highways, visited the construction site last week to witness the latest progress of the £32.7million interchange project.
The main interchange building’s 187tonne structural steel frame was fabricated off-site and erected over eight weeks. It was lifted into place by two cranes. Work can now begin on pouring the concrete floors and constructing the roof and walls.
Due to open in spring 2020, the new interchange is being built on the site of the existing bus station on Wellington Road and will accommodate bus, Metrolink and National Rail. Improved facilities will include a covered concourse and waiting area; electronic bus, Metrolink and rail information; accessible toilets, baby changing and Changing Places facilities; shops and a TravelShop; closed-circuit television and secure cycle parking. The new design will accommodate more bus services and the compact concourse will reduce walking time for passengers.
The interchange is being developed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in partnership with Tameside Council and is funded with support from central government’s Local Growth Deal programme.
Alex Cropper, TfGM’s head of operations, says: “Our aim is to make public transport an attractive and convenient choice for more journeys. By integrating buses with Metrolink and the nearby rail station, this new interchange will be key to encouraging more people to leave their cars at home.
“Whether people are commuting, visiting friends or family or exploring Ashton’s great shops and restaurants, this new interchange will make their journeys easier and more enjoyable.”
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, says: “This interchange will be a superb hub for Ashton, making public transport a safer and more accessible choice and connecting the town with Greater Manchester’s wider transport network. That means we can get more cars off our roads, which means less congestion, less pollution and more attractive streets and neighbourhoods.”