UK What the people of Middleton think about plans for a new Metrolink line last minute news


PremierLeague-News.Com

- Residents speak out on Burnham big transport plan

UK What the people of Middleton think about plans for a new Metrolink line last minute news


PremierLeague-News.Com

- Residents speak out on Burnham big transport plan

UK What the people of Middleton think about plans for a new Metrolink line last minute news
16 May 2021 - 06:15

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! It's a wet Wednesday afternoon. The steel shuttered retail units and an imposing derelict mill paint a vivid picture of a town north of Manchester in need of a lift. But, between the showers, the sunlight dazzles on the wet streets, and there is hope and joy in the eyes of local people slowly re-awakening from a psychologically punishing lockdown. We're in Middleton - the community that re-elected Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham wants to connect to the rest of the city region via Metrolink. Here, we ask shoppers if they agree with Mr Burnham's analysis that Middleton is a victim of a 'north-south divide' within the city region. And we find plenty are keen to share their views on Middleton, transport and Greater Manchester's disparities. One is Beverley Dormer, a 64-year-old care worker on a visit from her home in Blackley. Beverley Dormer She has no truck with Mr Burnham's passionate argument in favour of a Metrolink line to Middleton, which could cut a swathe through the north Manchester green lung of Heaton Park. "It would be far too expensive," she said. "I have no idea where they would put a line." "How would they do it without destroying Heaton Park?" However, Beverley did agree that the bus services which serve Middleton have diminished in recent years and are in dire need of improvement. Should Middleton get a tram line? Have your say below She went on: "I used to get the 149 bus service to Morrisons at Hollinwood, but that service has been stopped. "It's been a long time since I've been to Middleton before today. I've come here to see my grandchildren who I haven't visited since before the lockdown. "There probably is a divide between people in the north and south of Manchester. People in the south have more money and probably pay more for their things, and we have less and pay less. We just have to get on with it." Beverley's views were not shared by Allison Bell, 62, of Alkrington, who works at the Middleton town centre McDonald's restaurant. Allison Bell "We definitely need the Metrolink to come here," she said. "We're out on a limb and it takes ages to get anywhere. "The Metrolink has gone to Rochdale and Oldham, but we've been left out. It would be great to go for a night out in Manchester and be able to come home safely on a tram without having to fork out £40 or £50 in a taxi." Her work colleague Alison Andrews, 50, agreed. "I've never used a tram yet, but I would love to if it got me back to my home in Acresfield more easily. Alison Andrews "The bus service for Middleton is patchy at best, useless at worst," she adds. Nineteen-year-old Chloe Salter is a Greater Manchester Police officer. She said: "We're crying out for a Metrolink here, it makes absolute sense. Chloe Salter "Why should the posh areas like Sale and Altrincham get a decent tram service and we don't? It doesn't make sense. Andy Burnham is absolutely right." Meanwhile, Caitlin Hyem, 19, took time out from her journalism course at the University of Salford to visit Middleton to see for herself what it was like. This followed a video posted by Mr Burnham on YouTube in the wake of his re-election in which he travelled from Middleton to Media City by bus and tram, pointing out flaws in the transport system. Caitlin Hyem Caitlin said: "I think the idea of a tram service to Middleton is a no brainer.

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. "Public transport in Greater Manchester in general is quite expensive at the moment and that needs to change." Her words echoed the sentiments of Mr Burnham, who has stated he wants a London-style transport infrastructure for Greater Manchester in order to boost the economy in the city region. He has even suggested asking the Government for £1 billion to fund Metrolink lines to Bolton and Stockport as well as Middleton. But Mr Burnham believes a Metrolink to Middleton line is essential as soon as possible for the town to get the regeneration it needs. It's for this reason he has asked Transport for Greater Manchester to accelerate plans for the Middleton extension to the tram network. He said that all of the evidence points to the 'beneficial impact Metrolink has on local areas' - including house prices. And responding to fears voiced by Beverley that any line may cut through Heaton Park, Mr Burnham has said there would be consultation with residents. The Mayor said he was keen to follow the 'Stockport model' with a Mayoral Development Corporation for Middleton to look at 'everything in the round' and link up to a 'Bee Network' (transport) to support regeneration of the town. "We are expecting a devolved transport fund from the government in the financial year 2022/23 and we've been given revenue funding this year to develop our capital plans," he said. And he said he believed 'we have to get more serious about the north-south divide - not the one in the UK, but the one in Greater Manchester'. "There is a need to focus on places like Middleton," he said. "When you go there you can see derelict buildings looming over the town. But at the same time you can see the potential of the place. "We've seen what's happened in Stockport with its Mayoral Development Corporation and where the new interchange will be Metrolink ready and we want to do that at Middleton, linking it to also to regeneration." Mr Burnham's comments met with approval from Matthew Beeforth, a business studies student at Liverpool John Moores University, who was visiting Middleton. Matthew Beeforth "I think it's important that Middleton is linked up with every where else," he said. "If people can't get around it's harmful to business. "It takes a long time to get here by bus bearing in mind it's such a short distance from Manchester. Things need to change." Public transport buff Terry Whitehead was visiting Middleton from his home town of Huddersfield to spot buses, but also looks out for trains and planes. Terry Whitehead The 71-year-old former lorry driver said: "I can understand Andy Burnham wanting a London-style transport system, but as far as I am concerned the best thing in London is the M1 route out of it. "They've been talking about getting trams on my side of the Pennines in Leeds, but they've never managed it, so whatever Mr Burnham gets for Greater Manchester has to be admired." Nineteen-year-old Stephanie Evans, who attends Hopwood Hall College, said: "A tram system here would enable all of us to get around much more easily. That can only be a good thing. Stephanie Evans "Why should south Manchester get all the benefits of Metrolink?" A powerful argument which Mr Burnham certainly agrees with. At a press briefing in the week following his re-election, alluding to the Government's so-called 'levelling up' agenda, he said: "We won't have levelled up in this country until a bus journey in Harpurhey costs the same as a bus journey in Haringey in London." His much viewed video-ed journey from Middleton to Media City took about an hour and a quarter and cost more than £5. And he had to walk to tram stops because the buses didn't drop him off where he needed to be because the two systems are 'competing'. Before the election, Mr Burnham said he 'couldn't wait to get started' on making transforming Greater Manchester's transport infrastructure into something akin to London. "It's my number one priority," he said. You get the impression he means it. Read More Related Articles Jazz bands ready to strike up again at Castleton club Read More Related Articles Preparing for a post-pandemic world, Andy Burnham launches homelessness prevention plan

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