South East Manchester Multi-Modal Strategy calls for three new BRT services

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The new schemes, if approved, would follow the existing Leigh guided busway in the Manchester area

The routes, which would include sections of guided busway, would connect parts of Cheshire with Manchester and its airport, providing improved east-west connectivity

A new draft consultation under the South East Manchester Multi-Modal (SEMMM) Strategy has proposed three new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services using guided busways to link parts of Cheshire with Manchester and the city’s airport.

The three services proposed by the document would aim to provide ‘better east-west connectivity.’

They are the second of eight strategic priorities identified in the report, which looked to refresh a strategy first devised in 2001.

The report noted: “While existing rail networks support north-south travel, the need for better east-west connectivity was identified very early in the strategy refresh.

“The opening of A6MARR will bring about improved highway connections, and potentially open new bus service opportunities, but wider public transport options are likely to remain limited.

“To help improve the overall problem, the strategy recommends three new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services.”

One of the three services would travel between Stockport and Manchester Airport, with stops at Hazel Grove, Bramhall, Woodford, Handforth, Stanley Green and Heald Green.

The other two services would both begin in Wilmslow and serve Handforth and Stanley Green, with one moving on to Heald Green and Manchester Airport and the other instead travelling through Cheadle to the East Didsbury Metrolink stop.

The final details of the routes are still being developed through a ‘detailed study commissioned by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) along with local authorities,’ the report noted.

The report also suggested that new bus priority measures could be necessary to support effective operation of the services. Suggestions include new offline bus only links, on street priority and junction priority.

It was also recommended that the case be developed for a new Park & Ride site to integrate with the Stockport to Manchester Airport service.

Mark Glynn, Head of Place Management at Stockport Council, told the BBC: “Stockport’s connectivity, and its links across our region, is one of the town’s great strengths and we want to make sure we build on this for the future.”

The report can be read at tinyurl.com/y8mwh6vf