TRANSPORT bosses should consider reinstating the direct train service between Stalybridge and Stockport as part of drive to improve the network around Greater Manchester, MP Jonathan Reynolds has told a meeting of business leaders.
The Stalybridge and Hyde MP made the remarks during an ‘Action for Business Forum’ in Hyde, hosted by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, focussing on the issue of transport.
Mr Reynolds says that in recent years the focus has been on the need to connect the outer boroughs with Manchester city centre.
But he said now was the time for a reconsideration of the interconnectivity of services around Greater Manchester – pointing to the example of Stalybridge to Stockport rail service.
He said: "When it comes to transport, policymakers in Greater Manchester have traditionally focused on the need to connect the outer boroughs to the city centre.
"Whether it is by extending Metrolink or increasing rail capacity, the focus has tended to be on the need to get people in and out of the city centre.
"Whilst no one would deny that this is important, I think there is a growing need for the areas around the city being better connected to one another.
"To give an example, there used to be a regular train service which allowed people to travel directly between Stalybridge and Stockport."
Mr Reynolds pointed to growing consensus that limited connectivity stifles economic growth and deters investment. And he said that improving the links with other boroughs would increase economic opportunities in areas like Tameside.
As well as issues of interconnectivity around the region he also said capacity needed to be increased to match growing demand and that the price of rail travel remained sustainable.
He also highlighted the continuing need for measures to cut congestion through Longdendale.
Also speaking at the event were representatives from Northern Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester and Tameside Council.
Published 3 December 2012