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Transport for Greater Manchester reveals local growth pipeline

Transport for Greater Manchester has revealed its plans for expansion and improvement of the Metrolink and transport systems in Manchester for the next five years.

The capital programme, which will run between 2015/16 and 2020, is set to be finalised by mid-July next year.

It includes £350m for major schemes, £110m for minor works and £10m of LSTF (Local Sustainable Transport Fund) money for 2015/16.

A priority scheme will be the expansion of the Metrolink to Trafford Park, which was announced on Monday as part of the planned election of a directly elected mayor for the Greater Manchester region.

Its expansion will include six new stops and will link Salford Quays directly to Old Trafford and the Trafford Centre.

Speaking to Construction News, CECA director in the North-west Guy Lawson said the pipeline from TfGM set out a “substantial” amount of work where “all the money is in one pot”.

“It’s certainly aspirational at this point, and it’s hard to say how it might look with an elected mayor at the head of it, but it’s definitely a positive outlook,” he said.

There are several major district-led road improvement schemes that will form part of the overall TfGM pipeline programme, as well as a series of revamps and major improvement works to local town interchanges in Bolton, Ashton, Wigan, Stockport and Salford railway station (see box).

Transport for Greater Manchester pipeline

£19.5m South Heywood M62 J19 link road

£25m Wigan A49 link road

£12.7m Wigan M58 link road

£15m Regent Road route improvements

£10m Great Ancoats Street route improvements

£15.7m Wigan - new bus station

£32.7m Ashton - new bus/metrolink interchange on site of existing bus station

£41.7m Stockport - new interchange on site of existing bus station

A major scheme to revamp Stockport town centre’s transport system will also be included, worth a provisional £73.2m.

In Bolton, a provisional budget of £39.7m has been allocated to creating a series of interchanges between Bolton, Farnworth, Walkden and Salford.

There are also plans to add three extra platforms at Salford Central station to accomodate the new Ordsall Chord railway line, as well as improving capacity on existing lines. This work is valued at £20.5m.

NEC3 contracts would normally be used on schemes and contractors would be selected on whether they can offer the most “economically advantageous” means of fulfilling contracts.

TfGM said that risk on the jobs would be allocated “where it is most appropriate and best managed”.

Mr Lawson said: “The question of who’s going to do what is currently a bit foggy - you can’t just give everything to major contractors.

“If the packages are so big that SMEs can’t bid, you lose contact with the employer base. Work doesn’t always cascade down to smaller businesses.”

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