Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has labelled plans to suspend Metrolink services on the Ashton Line – which runs through the Audenshaw and Ashton Moss parts of his constituency – as ‘disastrous for Tameside’.
The move has been announced as part of a new HS2 Bill, which was formally laid before Parliament on Monday evening. The Bill confers the powers required to construct a part of the second phase of High Speed 2, with the aim of linking Crewe to Manchester with a new railway line.
However, it has been revealed that as part of the major construction involved in the project, it is likely that Metrolink services on the Ashton line will be suspended for a significant period of time – probably years – and that a replacement bus service will instead provide access from Ashton to New Islington on the affected line.
Andrew Gwynne has now called on the Government to save the Tameside tram link and pledged to table amendments to the Bill to ensure rail planners think again.
Commenting, Gwynne said:
“The suspension of this service would be absolutely disastrous for Tameside. We all want to cut journey times, but this should not be at the expense of vital tram links.
I will be tabling amendments to this Bill because I do not think that the Government or rail planners have fully realised the impact that this suspension will have on communities across Tameside.
It is essential to keep this line operating, and people in Tameside should not just be fobbed off with a rail replacement bus service – which will no doubt cause massive inconvenience for many and increase travel times whilst simultaneously reducing capacity.
The Government must think again on this, and develop a plan that doesn’t unfairly impede travel for people in Tameside.”