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Park and ride expansion for Manchester Metrolink

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Planning applications aimed at increasing the park and ride provision at Radcliffe and Whitefield tram stops on Manchester Metrolink have been approved by members of Bury Council’s Planning Committee. 

The number of parking spaces will increase at Radcliffe by 111 to 480 and at Whitefield by 123 to 331. 

The plans will see single additional decks added to the existing sites as well as increased lighting, signage, CCTV, electric vehicle charging points and cycle storage.

To minimise the impact, the closures will be staggered, with Whitefield closing first in Summer 2021 and re-opening ahead of Radcliffe, which will close in Autumn 2021 and re-open in Winter 2021/22.

The news comes just days after a 360-space park and ride site was completed at Parkway on the Trafford Park Line, which opened to passengers in March, seven months ahead of schedule. 

A separate planning application, to provide 250 temporary park and ride spaces on land to the rear of Spring Lane School, has also been submitted to the planning committee and will be considered at a future meeting. Should permission be granted, the temporary car park will be built before the closure of either site to minimise disruption.  

The project will not only support Greater Manchester’s vision of having world class transport connections, it will also support Radcliffe’s long-term, sustainable economic growth, providing increased access to opportunities.  

Councillor Mark Aldred, chair of the Greater Manchester Transport Committee, said: “Radcliffe and Whitefield have historically been amongst our most popular and well-used sites and were often full by 7.30am on a weekday morning before the outbreak of coronavirus. 

“Although nowhere near the levels we were at previously, adding capacity to our busiest park and ride sites will provide more options for people as we look to recover and return patronage to pre-pandemic levels.

“Significantly, the extra spaces will be available at a time when we’re adding more capacity to the network through our new trams – and is welcome news just days after completing the major new park and ride site on the Trafford Park line. 

“Collectively these measures support the mayor’s Congestion Deal, which aims to make public transport more attractive to people and provide a genuine alternative to the car. By taking potentially hundreds of extra cars off local roads each morning in favour of a more sustainable form of transport, we can help cut congestion and improve air quality across the region.”