...Was an internal email I received at work recently. The reason is that that the existing rail line is being replaced by Metrolink, and this work will take approximately 3 years. The reason for the Shaw mention is that the company I work for has its logistics operation in Shaw, and therefore people travel between the sites – I do myself occasionally. For the next three years public transport between sites will not be a practical option.
I wonder how many commuters who currently use that line and who will switch to the car, will give up the car for the Metrolink when it is finally in place?
Closer to my home in Chorlton, the next phase of Metrolink development (beyond the line to Chorlton already under construction) will put a line across the green lungs of the Mersey Valley. It will also, if existing plans are retained, take out the tree-lined central reservation of Mauldeth Road.
Trams have a place in the public transport system of our conurbation but they should be taking road space instead of existing rail and green space.
A further adverse impact can be seen in Didsbury as reported in this week’s ‘South Manchester Reporter’. Parrs Wood allotments were run down by the City Council, and are now to be replaced by a multi-story car park. The reasoning behind this is that it will form part of a Park and Ride scheme, linked to both the existing rail station and the proposed new Metrolink station (if and when the Didsbury spur gets the go-ahead). Sadly both local MP John Leech, and former Allotments Chair Geoff Bridson seem to have given up on the allotments and backed the proposal.
This is regrettable and short-sighted. For the City, and indeed the country, to meet the carbon-reduction targets which are essential to combat climate change, 2 areas where we have to change are food and transport. We need to be growing more food within the city, and we need to reduce the need to travel, not just by car but across the board. This move goes against both of those requirements. It will of course be argued that a ‘Park and Ride’ approach is better than people taking their cars into the city centre; I can understand that argument, but we have to think beyond that. The Council is busy preparing a Climate Change action plan, promising radical reductions, which it will proudly brandish in Copenhagen. How are expected to have any confidence in its ability to deliver?