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New Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange Opens

Photo supplied by TfGM

Services are set to start running from the brand-new Ashton-under-Lyne interchange this weekend, providing passengers with much-improved facilities and a modern, accessible gateway to the town.

From Sunday 30th August 2020, 90%* of bus services will start operating from the £32.7m facility, enabling passengers to easily change between different modes of travel – including Metrolink, rail, walking and cycling.

The interchange has been developed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in partnership with Tameside Council and funded with support from central government’s Local Growth Deal programme. The building contractor was VINCI Construction UK.

The improved facilities include a covered concourse and waiting area, electronic bus, Metrolink and rail information, high-quality accessible toilets, baby changing and ‘Changing Places’ facilities, retail units, CCTV and secure cycle parking spaces.

Photo supplied by TfGM

The facility has been designed to accommodate more bus services while the centralised concourse will reduce walking time for passengers.

As with all current Transport for Greater Manchester passenger–facing infrastructure, measures have been put in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus such as signage, spacing, stickers and anti-viral cleaning regimes. For more information, visit tfgm.com/coronavirus.

The facility will be managed in accordance with Covid-19 mandatory transport restrictions and guidelines with social distancing measures, the use of face masks and signage in place to safeguard visitors, passengers and staff.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:

“As a city-region, we have faced a year of unprecedented challenge in the face of the pandemic, so I’m delighted to be able to announce the opening of this impressive and transformational facility.

“Not only will it have a real positive impact for the borough in terms of regeneration and boosting access to employment, education and leisure; the modern and simplified facilities will hopefully make public transport an even more attractive option for people in Tameside in the long-term.

“It’s another step towards creating the world-class connectivity that Greater Manchester needs to enable us to get more cars off the roads, reduce congestion and improve air quality.”

The new interchange will also support Vision Tameside – an ambitious redevelopment strategy to bring greater economic prosperity, increase job opportunities and transform learning and skills in the Tameside borough.

Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington said:

“It’s exciting that this fantastic new interchange and its tremendous facilities will be open very soon for our residents to benefit from.

“As we continue to live with Coronavirus, it will support more environmentally-friendly travel when walking or cycling isn’t an option and will provide better access to education and employment for our residents. Furthermore, as we look to build back better and greener it will bring more visitors to our retailers and attractions, boosting the town centre economy.”

Tameside Council Executive Member for Transport and Connectivity Cllr Warren Bray said:

“This brand-new interchange will provide an attractive gateway into Ashton and enable passengers to safely and conveniently change between bus, train and tram.

“Please enjoy these new facilities and remember whilst using public transport continue to protect each other by wearing a face covering and observing the social distancing guidelines.”

VINCI Construction UK’s Regional Managing Director John Roberts said:

“It’s great to see the outcome of this project following what has undoubtedly been a difficult time due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The new concourse area and reduced pedestrian bus interfaces will help to assist the people of Tameside with social distancing without the need to worry about bus movements whilst improving their link between the bus and tram network. It really is a modern and impressive facility that will provide a comfortable and welcoming environment.”

Photo supplied by TfGM

The new interchange has been built on part of the previous bus station site on Wellington Road along with land acquired next to the site. It is designed to use space more efficiently, enabling capacity for up to 145 bus departures per hour via a mixture of ‘drive in, drive out’ (DIDO) and ‘drive in reverse out’ (DIRO) stands.

The new facility has also reduced the number of pedestrian crossings across the site to two, compared to the 14 in place at the old facility.

Artist Michael Condron was appointed to create and install artwork at the new interchange. Michael worked with local people to design the public art for the interchange so it would reflect the area’s heritage. The artwork was part funded by the National Lottery through Heritage Lottery funding.

Construction of the facility began in June 2018, following a month-long public consultation that ran between August and September 2015.

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