The campaign to restore a proper passenger rail service on a little-known ‘parliamentary line’ has gained a significant boost.
Both Reddish South and Denton stations are currently served by just one train a week, and then in one direction only, between Stockport and Stalybridge. This limited service is a requirement under the law to keep the line open to passenger services.
However, the Friends Groups at Denton and Reddish South have been campaigning alongside Andrew Gwynne MP for a number of years now to try and have a proper rail service restored to the line, which also links through to Manchester Victoria using the Crowthorn Curve at Ashton Moss. And this campaign received a significant boost following a meeting organised by the MP and attended by the Labour leader of Tameside Council, Cllr Kieran Quinn and the LibDem leader of Stockport Council, Cllr Susan Derbyshire in July.
Now both Stockport and Tameside Councils are jointly set to approve a report asking Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to conduct a thorough study into the viability of restoring passenger services to the line, utilising the network improvements delivered by the Northern Hub work.
Stockport also have a motion to support this cause going before its full council next week, which is expected to receive cross-party support; in Tameside, the report will be brought to the Council’s Executive Cabinet for approval.
Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, said:
“It’s really great news that both Stockport and Tameside Councils are joining the campaign to get a proper service restored to Reddish South and Denton stations.
“The Friends Groups at both Reddish South and Denton Stations have put up such a great case, but we now need that higher-level lobbying at Transport for Greater Manchester. That’s why Stockport and Tameside Councils’ involvement is so crucial as they have that important way in to TfGM, and it’s brilliant to have cross-party support with it.
“The benefit of our case is we have existing infrastructure already in place. We have the lines, the stations and the route through from Stockport to Manchester Victoria – a destination otherwise not accessible directly from south-east Manchester.
“Added to that, the Northern Hub work will mean Victoria will no-longer be a terminus station, but a through route, connecting north with south. That means new services can be provided from destinations to the north of Manchester to destinations to the south using our line, at no extra cost to Network Rail, Northern Trains or TfGM.”