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Metrolink, East Didsbury to Stockport

Metrolink is now open to the Airport and East Didsbury.

East Didsbury stop is in the cutting between Kingsway and Parrs Wood Lane to the south of Lynwood Road. It serves a large number of houses in the East Didsbury and Heaton Mersey areas, as well as shopping and leisure facilities including a connection to the Trans–Pennine Trail.

Didsbury and Stockport line diagram (3.2KB)

City Centre to Altrincham, Airport and East Didsbury lines are shown green on the diagram. The possible further Stockport extension is shown brown.

Onward to Stockport?

The former railway from Didsbury to Stockport Tiviot Dale station was not protected after closure. Mostly built on an embankment, in cuttings or tunnel, access to adjacent areas would not be good even if the route were still available.

This extension was planned to link the Metrolink network at East Didsbury to Stockport town centre. At present there are neither powers nor funding for this line. GMPTE applied for Transport and Works Act powers but the process came to a halt in 2004 when the Big Bang expansion was halted.

The following is a description of the line as planned in 2004. A future line may be different.

From Parrs Wood Lane the route would have followed the former rail line as far as Station Road. This part of the cutting was filled in the early 1980s, so it was proposed to remove the fill, construct Metrolink in a tunnel, and put earth back on top restoring the park for people to use the area much as they do now. The Metrolink tunnel would have continued under Station Road.

Business properties were built on Station Road where the railway used to run. These properties would be unaffected, but a small part of the Heaton Mersey Park Sports Grounds would be needed to provide an embankment for Metrolink. This part of the route is in a conservation area, and special care would be taken to make sure Metrolink enhanced the area.

At the eastern end of Station Road, traffic lights would let Metrolink cross Craig Road safely. Part of the embankment would be removed to build a stop near Craig Road and Vale Road. This would serve a large part of the south of Heaton Mersey.

East of the proposed Craig Road stop the former railways split and the proposed route follows the southern spur away from the houses on Craig Road towards the River Mersey. This area has been designated a site of importance for nature conservation by Stockport MBC. Initial environmental surveys show that no protected species would be affected. GMPTE would have minimised any damage to wildlife and adopt a tree and habitat replacement policy.

The River Mersey and M60 would have been crossed at the same place with a single bridge. The bridge and embankments would be large structures. Advice would have been taken from various organisations, such as the Royal Fine Arts Commission, to make sure that the best results are obtained.

The route would then travel through the Gorsey Bank area on the south bank of the Mersey. Stockport Council is working towards transforming the derelict former housing site here into a modern business park. Gorsey Bank stop would have served Cheadle Heath.

Because Brinksway is narrow, has sharp bends and carries a large amount of traffic, the Metrolink line would have crossed back to the north bank of the Mersey. It would have run close to the north bank of the river through the Yew Street employment area. Kings Reach stop would have served existing buildings such as the ‘Pyramid’ and future developments.

The route would have crossed back onto the south bank of the Mersey and join Brinksway just before the junction with Hollywood Way. Then the trams would have run in both directions along Chestergate into Stockport town centre.

King Street, north of Chestergate, would have been widened by using the footway on the west side of the bridge over the Mersey. An adjacent footbridge would have been constructed to maintain footway facilities. Thus avoiding alterations near the M60 motorway and allowing road traffic to use Chestergate as at present.

Metrolink would have gone under the railway viaduct to terminate alongside Stockport Bus Station. Bus connections here would have served a wide area of Stockport. The terminus was planned to enable an eastward extension of Metrolink at some future date.

Didsbury and Stockport Line: top of page

This page was written and illustrated by Tony Williams, Manchester Area Officer, Light Rail Transit Association. Contact if you have any comments, ideas or suggestions about these pages.