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Greater Manchester Transport Projects Transport Matters For Greater Manchester and Surrounding Areas



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Old August 18th, 2009, 10:50 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by WatcherZero View Post
I imagine when that comes around they will be thinking about expanding Metrolink coverage, it will after phase 3 have lines spreading out radially from 12 o'clock clockwise to 9 o'clock and the only areas not covered would be Bolton and Wigan, completing these would provide a transport network coverage resembling the underground.
And Stockport. And most of Tameside. And South East Manchester and Salford. And North East Manchester. Whether these areas all need trams is open to question, but they put Leigh fairly far down the list of priorities.

Presuming that the Sheffield trial is a success I would imagine "phase 4" will be the tram-train conversions of the local services on the Wigan, Bolton, Rochdale, Glossop, Marple, Airport and Alti-Stockport lines and possibly the very expensive Didsbury to Stockport extension. The best Leigh will be able to hope for for a very long time is a BRT connection to town and to a possible railhead near by.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 10:59 PM   #122
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It appears that Kenyon Junction reopening (circa 2000) was tied in with the Xanadu project, the initial costs to be funded by the developers, with feeder buses provided to Xanadu, as well as Leigh town centre.

Now that a more 'affordable', modular, option is available, as well as the step change of official policy towards the route, I think these proposals should definitely be revived.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 11:18 PM   #123
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And Stockport. And most of Tameside. And South East Manchester and Salford. And North East Manchester. Whether these areas all need trams is open to question, but they put Leigh fairly far down the list of priorities.

Presuming that the Sheffield trial is a success I would imagine "phase 4" will be the tram-train conversions of the local services on the Wigan, Bolton, Rochdale, Glossop, Marple, Airport and Alti-Stockport lines and possibly the very expensive Didsbury to Stockport extension. The best Leigh will be able to hope for for a very long time is a BRT connection to town and to a possible railhead near by.
Salfords covered and there are lines to the south east though they dont go all the way, they could be extended. to the north east Oldham and Rochdales covered.

That leaves Stockport as the only planned but not publically funded route, the Airport loop and Trafford Centre need their respective owners to contribute. Call them 4b and Wigan, Bolton and Marple as 4a. I could see Leigh in a phase 5 but as I said very distant.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 01:37 AM   #124
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Salfords covered and there are lines to the south east though they dont go all the way, they could be extended. to the north east Oldham and Rochdales covered.

That leaves Stockport as the only planned but not publically funded route, the Airport loop and Trafford Centre need their respective owners to contribute. Call them 4b and Wigan, Bolton and Marple as 4a. I could see Leigh in a phase 5 but as I said very distant.
Salford isn't covered like it should be, and by north east/south east I actually mean the large areas of the inner city between town and Middleton/Stockport. As I said I'm not sure trams are the best solution to all these areas, but tram lines don't get to the front of the funding queue by virtue of being trams. These corridors beat Leigh in terms of either congestion (A6) or deprivation (Rochdale Road corridor) and I would imagine would gain investment before any more was spend on Leigh. I'm not saying it's not possible for Leigh to get any form of rail connection, it just doesn't seem very likely in the forseeable future.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #125
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Ahh I see we are talking about different kinds of transport, im talking about a radial city commuter feeding system and your talking about an interurban transport within the districts.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 12:56 PM   #126
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Ahh I see we are talking about different kinds of transport, im talking about a radial city commuter feeding system and your talking about an interurban transport within the districts.
Yeah I suppose so. I think the point I was trying to make underneath my painfully convoluted prose was that while radial city commuter feeding systems may be the priority today; when phase 3 is completed and the remainder of the urban rail system is sorted out then they may not be the priority any longer.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #127
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But Metrolink shows you could serve both those markets (city commuter, inner-suburban), whereas traditional rail served the outer-suburban>city well, but ignores the other (due to lack of stops, lack of frequency).
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Old August 19th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #128
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But Metrolink shows you could serve both those markets (city commuter, inner-suburban), whereas traditional rail served the outer-suburban>city well, but ignores the other (due to lack of stops, lack of frequency).
True, but doesn't Metrolink do this well because it has big draws at the ends/along each line (Alti, Bury, the Quays). In cost benefit terms would a Metrolink line along the East Lancs or Rochdale Road be as lucrative as the present and proposed lines? Do enough people want to go to Middleton or Leigh that the line wouldn't make a loss?
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Old August 19th, 2009, 02:05 PM   #129
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Leigh yes, it wont be competing with any other form of public transport if it is an eventual upgrade of the busway, whereas those other places you have bus routes and in some cases heavy rail as well, for example Salford.

Wigan too you would see competition if they converted the Atherton line between those using the tram (and stopping at all the minor stations) and those choosing an express service by heavy rail via the Bolton line. But you wouldnt see any competition from Buses besides the Trafford centre bus.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #130
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Leigh yes, it wont be competing with any other form of public transport if it is an eventual upgrade of the busway, whereas those other places you have bus routes and in some cases heavy rail as well, for example Salford.

Wigan too you would see competition if they converted the Atherton line between those using the tram (and stopping at all the minor stations) and those choosing an express service by heavy rail via the Bolton line. But you wouldnt see any competition from Buses besides the Trafford centre bus.
But the "Leigh Metrolink" would be competing with buses and rail at the Salford end of the route. If the only people it serves are Leigh-to-town commuters then it isn't going to be viable.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #131
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Yes the final stretch would be competing but conversley it would also be the only option for anyone in Salford who wanted to go to Leigh, even if Leigh would be the primary origin for most journeys. In fact just as it would be the route that people from Leigh accessed wider transport options it would also be the funnel for those from further afield to Leigh.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #132
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Yes the final stretch would be competing but conversley it would also be the only option for anyone in Salford who wanted to go to Leigh, even if Leigh would be the primary origin for most journeys. In fact just as it would be the route that people from Leigh accessed wider transport options it would also be the funnel for those from further afield to Leigh.
Not necessarily. I think there are still likley to be some conventional bus services operating. Take the current number 12 service for example - it runs from Leigh to Manchester, albeit on a rather 'round the houses' route. It will still be viable because it connects areas that the M-S-L BRT will not.

Out of interest, people keep mentioning how the route 26 was changed to take longer in some sort of conspiracy theory. I'm very familar that route as it stands now, but I can't remember this quicker alternative route that it apparently used to operate on. Could someone enlighten me?
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Old August 19th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #133
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Not necessarily. I think there are still likley to be some conventional bus services operating. Take the current number 12 service for example - it runs from Leigh to Manchester, albeit on a rather 'round the houses' route. It will still be viable because it connects areas that the M-S-L BRT will not.

Out of interest, people keep mentioning how the route 26 was changed to take longer in some sort of conspiracy theory. I'm very familar that route as it stands now, but I can't remember this quicker alternative route that it apparently used to operate on. Could someone enlighten me?
there was an limited-stop express Leigh to Manchester service before deregulation, which ran along the East Lancs Road (according to an option appraisal document that used to be on the internet, but is no longer there). I don't know its number for certain, but it may have been 34 or 39. The opertaror cut it because of low patronage. The PTE claoims to have tried to interest various operators in resuming it, but with no takers, as there was no operating subsidy on offer.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 08:25 PM   #134
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As mentioned in my previous posts concerning Kenyon Junction (Parkway), there was previously an 'GMexpress' route 34 Liverpool - Leigh - Manchester limited stop/express service, which started under GMT, continued under GM, became ran down under GMN, became peak hours only, and was eventually axed by First.

I think traffic towards the Liverpool/St Helens end of the route drifted off during the 1990s, as a result of competition from improved rail services (FNW introduced a proper Liverpool Lime St - Manchester - MIA semi-fast) and National Express Shuttle using the M62, making the 'whole' route less viable.

X34 'The Spinning Jenny' only got reinstated thanks to 'Kickstart' funding.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 11:22 PM   #135
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there was an limited-stop express Leigh to Manchester service before deregulation, which ran along the East Lancs Road (according to an option appraisal document that used to be on the internet, but is no longer there). I don't know its number for certain, but it may have been 34 or 39. The opertaror cut it because of low patronage. The PTE claoims to have tried to interest various operators in resuming it, but with no takers, as there was no operating subsidy on offer.
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As mentioned in my previous posts concerning Kenyon Junction (Parkway), there was previously an 'GMexpress' route 34 Liverpool - Leigh - Manchester limited stop/express service, which started under GMT, continued under GM, became ran down under GMN, became peak hours only, and was eventually axed by First.

I think traffic towards the Liverpool/St Helens end of the route drifted off during the 1990s, as a result of competition from improved rail services (FNW introduced a proper Liverpool Lime St - Manchester - MIA semi-fast) and National Express Shuttle using the M62, making the 'whole' route less viable.

X34 'The Spinning Jenny' only got reinstated thanks to 'Kickstart' funding.
As far as I am aware the former 34, now X34 service is still in operation at peak hours. I never knew about a Liverpoool service, but it did always continue beyond Leigh to Lowton....

I'm a bit tipsy so quite frankly can't be arsed trawling to find the quote, but I'm sure someone specifically mentioned the 26 service being altered. Even if it was, I've just realised that is a pretty pointless argument given that the X34 is till in place...
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Last edited by Priscilla QOTD; August 19th, 2009 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Apalling drunken typos.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 12:57 AM   #136
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ISTR, the 34 Express still operated to Liverpool until about 1995/96ish, until it was cut to Lowton St Marys (was the destination on the blind), here is a photo of one at work.

Digging out some very old material, it appears to run the following route:

1990-1992: Liverpool - St. Helens - Earlestown - Leigh - Astley - Mcr (all run commercially)

1997 route split: Lowton/Leigh - Manchester run commercially by GMN, but Liverpool - Leigh run commercially by Lancashire Travel (aka Merseybus).

I still think if Skelmersdale can warrant construction of a heavy rail link, then so can Leigh, but Kenyon Junction Parkway is a quicker, more affordable option.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #137
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Old August 27th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #138
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I still don't understand why it is necessary for it to be a 'guided' busway.

I appreciate Adelaide and other non-UK systems are built better, but the poor quality of ones constructed here, such as Leeds, Bradford, with their dire 20mph limits, and very wobbly ride, or the late running Cambridgeshire project, doesn't give me much faith.

Why can't a simple bus only road (like Runcorn Busway) be constructed, with proper enforcement of bus lanes on the A580? Nottingham manage very well on their heavily trafficked A52 (westbound towards Stapleford), with a similar 3 lanes+1 bus lane layout?

Money saved by not having to fit/maintain guided wheels to the buses could be invested elsewhere.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 02:03 AM   #139
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I still don't understand why it is necessary for it to be a 'guided' busway.

I appreciate Adelaide and other non-UK systems are built better, but the poor quality of ones constructed here, such as Leeds, Bradford, with their dire 20mph limits, and very wobbly ride, or the late running Cambridgeshire project, doesn't give me much faith.

Why can't a simple bus only road (like Runcorn Busway) be constructed, with proper enforcement of bus lanes on the A580? Nottingham manage very well on their heavily trafficked A52 (westbound towards Stapleford), with a similar 3 lanes+1 bus lane layout?

Money saved by not having to fit/maintain guided wheels to the buses could be invested elsewhere.
If the former rail alignment is to be utilised, then the route must be guided - otherwise it is not wide enough for buses to pass at speed.

The guidewheel techology is not expensive - the extra cost relates rather to driver training; and the fact that, once trained, specialised drivers will need to be paid on a premium rate. The concrete guided track is slightly more expensive per km to construct than a bus-only road, but the maintainance costs are far lower.

Your question as to why they could not simply run the buses along the A580 is a good one, though. I suppose that the logic is that the new-build residential areas relate much more closely to the old railway than they do to the East Lancs Road. But there is a basic presumption that bus services along a busway would be commercailly viable, where the old express buses along the A580 were not. I hope we shall see.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 01:20 PM   #140
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Cross City Bus Route plans revealed/consultation starts:

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Your chance to comment on radical improvements to city centre bus services
Consultations over a major set of infrastructure improvements which will help to improve bus services through Manchester city centre are underway.

GMPTE is working in partnership with Manchester City Council, Salford City Council and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council to finalise a package of improvements along three major routes:

- Boothstown to Manchester via the A580 East Lancashire Road and A6 Broad Street/Crescent/Chapel Street;

- Middleton Bus Station to Manchester via the A664 Manchester New Road and Rochdale Road; and,

- East Didsbury to Manchester via Wilmslow Road and Oxford Road/Street.

A key aim of the proposals is to provide seamless bus links across the city centre - so people will not have to change services or pay more than one fare - supported by infrastructure that will help to cut journey times and improve reliability.

In doing so, they will also provide better links between areas in the north, west and south of Greater Manchester and the education and health facilities on the Oxford Road corridor.

A major, 12-week consultation on the proposals will start today, Friday 2 October.

Councillor Keith Whitmore, Chair of Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA), said: "These are radical proposals that will provide a significant change in the way bus services operate through the Regional Centre.

"They will play a crucial role in improving the journey times and reliability of bus services for parts of Salford, Middleton, North Manchester and South Manchester that will, in turn, offer new and improved links to jobs, education, healthcare and leisure pursuits.

"By laying the foundations to encourage through-services to run we aim to make bus travel a more attractive, reasonable alternative to the car for these journeys."

These are far-reaching proposals that mark a key shift in the way bus services will be able to operate through Manchester city centre and beyond.

Once the consultation is complete, work should start in 2010 and could be complete by 2013.

The scheme is one of 15 major transport projects covered by the Greater Manchester Transport Fund, a £1.5 billion, 10-year investment programme announced by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) in May this year.

Councillor Richard Knowles, Chair of GMITA's Capital Projects Committee, said: "The core of the cross-city scheme is a set of improvements to bus measures through the Regional Centre that will improve connections with the bus corridors to Salford, Middleton and East Didsbury.

"The scheme includes bus lanes, bus gating and junction improvements, as well as pedestrian and cycle measures. It will also involve making some sections of city centre highway bus only, alongside complementary measures to ensure that traffic flows smoothly.

"The consultation will help us to develop the detailed designs of each element of the scheme within the relevant district, so I would encourage people to get involved to find out exactly what is proposed so that we can hear their views and ensure that the final plans best meet people's needs."

People will be able to view the proposals, and get involved with the consultations, by visiting www.gmpte.com/haveyoursay or calling 0800 917 8808 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm).

Comments can be made by writing to Freepost GMPTE - BUS 2009, emailing views2009@gmpte.gov.uk or texting "VIEWS" followed by comments to 60777 (texts will be charged at the standard network rate).

More than 80,000 consultation brochures will be distributed across the region during the consultation, and leaflets will also be available at local shops, newsagents, libraries and other outlets.

Public exhibitions will be held at:

- Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, on 22 October, from 1pm-7pm

- Beesley Green Centre, Green Leach Lane, on 29 October, from 12pm-6pm

- Middleton Arena, Corporation Street, on 20 October, from 12pm-7pm

- North City Library, Rochdale Road, on 5 November, from 12pm-7pm

- GMPTE Online Centre, Piccadilly Gardens, on 27 October, from 10am-4pm

- Central Library, St Peters Square, on 2 November, from 12pm-7pm

- Didsbury Library, Wilmslow Road, on 21 October, from 4pm-8pm

- The Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, on 30 October, from 12pm-7pm








I welcome the intention to reconfigure the Piccadilly / Newton St junction, but feel they have missed a trick by ignoring Stevenson Square or Piccadilly Station as part of the city centre route.
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