Transforming Stockport: Interchange Opening marks milestone in £1bn town centre regeneration

Transforming Stockport: Interchange Opening marks milestone in £1bn town centre regeneration

Stockport’s new multi-million-pound, state-of-the-art transport interchange and rooftop park has opened to the public in a historic and landmark moment for the town.

The modern and attractive transport hub is redefining the town’s connectivity and contains a new two-acre park, recently named as Viaduct Park, new walking and cycling links to the railway station and the town centre, and is the first phase of the transformational regeneration of Stockport Town Centre West.

The Interchange has been delivered on time and on budget by Stockport Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, alongside construction company Willmott Dixon.

The new interchange features 18 bus stands which will allow for 164 departures an hour, making it an integral part of the Bee Network — Greater Manchester’s vision for an integrated, London-style transport system — when buses in Stockport are brought under local control from January 2025. This helps to cement Stockport’s place as one of the best connected places in the North West.

The Interchange has been designed with future Metrolink integration in mind and TfGM is continuing to work with Stockport Council to develop proposals to bring trams to the town.

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 park is the first of its kind in the UK and provides a green space for residents from across the borough to enjoy, featuring play equipment, festoon lighting and an events pavilion that will help to connect neighbourhoods and communities.

Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “This is a landmark day in the history of our town. 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.

“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 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 £1bn transformation and this is only the start for our borough.”

Cllr Hunter added: “I would like to thank everyone who has made this project a reality. We have so many exciting projects happening in Stockport this year and I really can’t wait to see everyone enjoying the new park, and the wider development.”

A walking and cycling route from Viaduct Park to Station Road, connecting the interchange to the town’s train station, has also been opened.

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 on to 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 said: “Stockport now has an absolutely world-class transport interchange that will play a key role in bringing prosperity to the town and its people in the future.

“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 that 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.”

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 accessibly 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, added: “This year marks five years since Stockport MDC was established as a key delivery vehicle for Stockport’s trailblazing regeneration. It is 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.”

Green, safe and welcoming
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 solar photovoltaic panels.

The project represents an innovative approach to development, combining transport improvements, residential development and the creation of new green space — helping support the objectives of Stockport Council, the Mayor of Greater Manchester and GMCA.

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