Government awards grant to develop plans for passenger rail link between Stockport and Ashton-under-Lyne

£50,000 grant awarded to Transport for Greater Manchester, in partnership with Stockport and Tameside Council's, for proposal to create passenger rail link

A grant of £50,000 has been awarded to Transport for Greater Manchester, in partnership with Stockport and Tameside Council's to develop proposals for a new passenger rail service between Stockport and Ashton-under-Lyne, with a link to Rose Hill Marple.

The Department for Transport (DfT) invited MPs, local councils and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use funding to reinstate axed local services and restore closed stations.

In Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget last week, he announced funding to restore transport services lost in the Beeching cuts of the 1960s and improve local connectivity.

Of this, £650,000 has been earmarked to help to pay for initial feasibility work on proposals for potential new connections and stations.

Following a proposal that was taken to Government by two MPs covering the Stockport area, Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish and William Wragg, MP for Hazel Grove, a grant of up to £50,000 will be awarded to the TfGM to carry out technical work.

The bid was co-sponsored by Stockport MP Navendu Mishra and Ashton-under-Lyne MP Angela Rayner.

Depending on the conclusions of TfGM’s initial feasibility study and the more detailed business case development which could follow, as well as re-instating passenger services, this activity could also help to support proposals for new stations at Denton and Reddish South and at Heaton Norris.

Simon Elliott, TfGM’s Head of Rail Programme, said: “We are pleased to have secured this investment from Government which will be supported with additional local funding to carry out an initial piece of work to investigate opportunities for restoring passenger rail services between Stockport and Ashton with a link to Rose Hill Marple.

“Although we are still in the early stages of the process, this is an important opportunity to make progress, and in turn, contribute to a wider ambition to investigate how better orbital transport links could support Greater Manchester’s environment and economy.”

Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “It is great news that Government ministers have approved the ‘Restoring Your Railways’ bid for the line between Stockport and Ashton.

“I particularly want to pay tribute to the dedication of Andrew Gwynne MP, Friends of Reddish South Station and to Reddish councillors, who have been passionate advocates for Reddish South station over many years and are determined for it to be served by regular services that can benefit their community.

“Stockport has great connections by rail, but if these proposals were made a reality, they would strengthen our position as a great place to live, work and play.”