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 Councillor Warren Bray, Tameside’s Executive Member for Strategic Development and Highways visited the construction site last week to witness the latest progress of the £32.7m interchange project.
The main interchange building’s 187 tonne structural steel frame was fabricated off-site and erected over a period of 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 will provide a modern and accessible gateway to the town. Built on the site of the existing bus station on Wellington Road, it will allow passengers to easily change between different modes of transport, including bus, Metrolink, rail, walking and cycling.
Improved facilities at the interchange will include a covered concourse and waiting area; electronic bus, Metrolink and rail information; high-quality accessible toilets, baby changing and ‘Changing Places’ facilities; shops and a TravelShop; CCTV 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.
Councillor Warrington said: “I’m delighted that Ashton Interchange has reached this significant milestone and to see the progress being made in its development. When it opens next year it will provide an attractive gateway into Ashton and allow passengers to easily change between bus, train and tram or walk or cycle to their destination. And the superb facilities being created will make travelling by public transport safer and more convenient.
“Alongside the newly opened Tameside One, Ashton Interchange will help bring more visitors to our wonderful retailers and attractions, boosting the town centre economy.”
Alex Cropper, TfGM’s Head of Operations said: “TfGM has a superb record of delivering high-quality transport infrastructure and Ashton interchange will be no different, providing modern, comfortable and easy-to-use facilities right in the heart of Tameside.
“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. I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “It’s great to see this important project take a significant step forward. When it’s completed next year, this state-of-the-art 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.”