An open letter from Andrew Gwynne MP to Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), which has been sent to the Stockport Express and Tameside Advertiser newspapers:
Firstly I am extremely proud that both Tameside and Stockport Councils have come together – in a spirit of cross-party consensus – to support the Friends of Denton & Reddish South stations’ excellent campaign for a train service.
It’s bluntly a no-brainer (to seemingly all except TfGM) to use existing underused transport infrastructure, and especially as it will be providing new transport links to two heavily populated areas, Reddish South and Denton, both of which need further public transport improvements, and neither communities have any realistic chances of TfGM’s pet project – Metrolink.
TfGM would do well to heed the advice of both Tameside and Stockport Councils and look at how to make this happen, rather than to churn out nonsensical excuses.
The campaigners have never asked for a stand-alone service between Stockport and Victoria. If the powers that be at TfGM had actually bothered to glance at the proposals, they’d see we are actually asking for a better use of existing resources which will be freed up by the Northern Hub works, something Network Rail and Northern Trains have said to me makes perfect sense.
I assume the so-called ‘experts’ at TfGM should know Victoria will no-longer be a terminus station and instead trains starting out to the north of Manchester will be taken trough Victoria to new destinations to the south of the city and beyond. The underused line through Denton and a Reddish South provides a new route to take current diesel trains from north to south. So no new trains and no new subsidies are required at all, but our line will provide a new service to South East Greater Manchester, and that’s the compelling case.
I hope TfGM will now go back to the drawing board and look seriously at this sensible proposal.
Tameside Council, Stockport Council, the two Friends Groups, Reddish and Denton Councillors and local residents and businesses in Reddish and Denton frankly expect nothing less.
ANDREW GWYNNE MP
Labour – Denton and Reddish