Closing Metrolink Mosley Street stop – an improvement? ….

Posted on November 13th, 2010, by The Chairman

We’ve received the following from Metrolink Projects at GMPTE –

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“As you may be aware, Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) is proposing to close the Mosley Street Metrolink stop in Manchester city centre.

The closure of the stop will offer passengers faster journey times for outbound services, improve access and visibility to retailers at the rear of the stop and will enable tram traffic to be managed more effectivily through the city centre particular as the network is extended.

Earlier this year, GMITA granted approval to proceed with the formal closure procedure with the Department for Transport. As part of the closure process, the Department for Transport will be launching the public consultation on the proposals this week. Notices will be published in the regional press this week and next week to announce the consultation.

Anyone wishing to respond will have until 9 February 2011 to do so, after which the Department for Transport will collate the responses to allow ministers to make their decision in conjunction with the Office of Rail Regulation.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards
Steve Burns
Metrolink Stakeholder Manager, Metrolink Projects
GMPTE
2 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BG
Direct line 0161 244 1242 Office fax 0161 244 1316 Mobile 07884 263 407
www.gmpte.com”
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It all sounds very positive according to their letter.

Users from Mid-Cheshire may agree or otherwise.

We intend to respond. If this affects you, please let us have your thoughts ….

Here’s the Mosley Street Closure Assessment recently come to hand (21/11/10). £1.2m seems a huge amount for the extension of one platform. If that was the cheapest quote, goodness knows what the most expensive was!!

Please leave a comment

  1. Mike Battman Says:

    The great advantage of the Mosley Street stop is that if you are heading for the Altrincham line you have the opportunity to board either a tram from Bury or a tram from Piccadilly Station.

    If the stop closes you will either have to walk the length of Mosley Street and board at St Peter’s Square or have 50% less trams to board.

  2. Annette Says:

    My only comment is a personal one.

    The stop on Mosley Street is useful to anyone with a mobility problem or a mother with small children who does not wish to have to walk to/from St Peters Square or Market Street/Piccadilly to/from anywhere in the middle of Mosley Street. These stations are far apart given this is the city centre, a good 10 minutes walk for those who can’t “stride out”.

    You might not think that this is a valid point but I thought I would express it amyway.

  3. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    I would personally encourage members to object to this misguided proposal.

    The obvious answer is to raise the platform over its entire length so that the platform can deal with two trams coupled together.

    Mosley Street is one of the most well-used stops on the Metrolink system. It would be folly to close it.

    Please send representations about the proposal to the Department for Transport, RLMP Division, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR no later than 9th February 2011.

  4. Rail Ranger Says:

    The Statutory Notice for the closure of Mosley Street Metrolink station appeared in the Daily Telegraph (and the Manchester Evening News) on Wednesday 10th November. It may well appear in the same publications tomorrow (Wednesday 17th November).

    I quote from the notice: “This notice is made in accordance with Schedule 7 to the Railways Act 2005. GMPTE has notified the Department for Transport that it proposes to cease passenger services at Mosley Street station with effect from 28th February 2011. As required by Section 25 of the Railways Act 2005 and in accordance with the Department’s Railways Closures Guidance 2006 (which may be viewed at http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/legislation), GMPTE has prepared an initial assessment of the effect of ceasing the services at this station. Anyone wishing to see the initial assessment or a summary of it may inspect either document at GMPTE’s offices at 2 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BG. Alternatively they may obtain copies by writing to Jim Critchley, Planning, Stakeholder and Approvals Manager at the same address or by email from James.Critchley@gmpte.gov.uk.
    Representations about the proposal should be sent to the Department for Transport, RLMP Division, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR no later than 9 February 2011. The proposals may also be viewed on the Department for Transport’s website at http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open“. Interesting that GMPTE makes it difficult for the public to access this document, unlike most of their public documents which are downloadable over the web.

    Four comments:

    1. Interesting that they have chosen a coonsultation period which includes the Christmas & New Year holidays.
    2. I have looked at the DfT website and unfortunately there is no requirement to hold a public hearing into the proposal under the 2005 Act.
    3. As of Sunday there was no notice about the closure at Mosley Street station.
    4. I checked http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open yesterday and there was no mention of the Mosley Street closure.

    Points that could be included in a representation might be:

    1. Mosley Street is the only station in the Piccadilly Gardens area served by all services to Altrincham. Metrolink does not publish a timetable, so passengers will not know whether the next Metrolink service to Altrincham goes from Piccadilly Gardens or Market Street.
    2. The cost of raising the platform to full height has been grossly exaggerated by GMPTE.
    3. The disabled access ramp can go round the back of the platform.
    4. Mosley Street is one of the busiest stations on the network.
    5. If blocking the view of the shops was an issue, why was the station built there in the first place?
    6. Closure of Mosley Street station will lead to greater numbers of passengers crowding on the narrow platforms at Piccadilly Gardens and St Peters Square. This will get worse with the opening of the extensions to East Didsbury and Manchester Airport.
    7. This severely disadvantages those with more limited mobility.

    Overall, this proposal seems anything but good news for users.

  5. The Chairman Says:

    I’ve added the “Mosley Street Closure Assessment” report to the post above, just received. £1.2m seems a huge amount for the extension of one platform.

  6. Malcolm Dickin Says:

    It seems that the Railways Act 2005 is drafted in such a way that the DfT is required to come to a view on any closure proposal before considering objections. Below is a copy of a reply which I have received from Mr. Pope at the DfT. This is contrary to common sense and normal legal principles.

    I don’t know if a sufficient number of Metrolink users can be persuaded to make representations to their MP about the unsatisfactory nature of the legislation and ask him or her to make representations in turn to the Minister of Transport. Will the DfT be obliged under Freedom of Information legislation to make known the number of objections that it has received?

    The MCRUA Rail Report lists five possible objections. A sixth is that passengers in Mosley Street wishing to catch the next Altrincham-bound tram will have to walk over a quarter of a mile to St. Peters Square.

    In connection with the estimated £1.2 million cost of platform raising, you might like to ask the GMPTE how much it cost to raise each of the platforms at St. Peters Square.

    ***********************************

    Mr Dickin

    Our approach to the consultation is determined by Section 25 of the Railways Act 2005.

    Subsection (2) states ‘The service operator must give notice to the national authority setting out-

    (a) particulars of the proposal to discontinue the services and

    (b) a summary of the results of the assessment carried out in accordance with subsection (4).

    Subsection (5) states ‘The national authority to which a notice is given under subsection (2) must-

    (a) consider whether the closure in question should be allowed; and

    (b) before the proposal date, form an opinion on that matter in accordance with the criteria set out in the relevant part of the closures guidance.

    Subsection (6) adds ‘if the national authority is of the opinion that the closure should be allowed, it must-

    (a) carry out a consultation under schedule 7 about the proposal; and

    (b) after carrying out that consultation, either notify the service operator that it has changed its opinion or refer the proposal (with or without modification) to the Office of Rail Regulation…….’

    Therefore we only consult on proposals to close services and stations if we are of the opinion that they should be allowed; if we are of the opinion that they shouldn’t, we decline the operator’s request.

    I hope you can now see that we are acting correctly. The following link takes you to the relevant section of the Railways Act 2005 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/14/section/25

    David Pope

  7. Mike Battman Says:

    I wasn’t sure where to post this, but for everyone’s information….

    Trams on the Eccles line are only calling (and reversing) at the new MediaCityUK stop between the hours of 10:00 and 16:00. Outside those times you will have to alight at Broadway or Harbour City. Apparently there have been complaints from people heading beyond that the trams are taking too long.

    If I remember correctly the service to MediaCityUK was originally planned as a shuttle from Cornbrook. There are plenty of new trams at the new depot; expect them to start running the shuttle!?

  8. Mick Says:

    I was just wondering whether there have been any developments on this since the end of the consultation period – and if not whether we know of the timescale for a decision to be made? My personal view seems to echo many other people’s, namely that closing Mosley Street would be a serious error and would cause significant inconvenience and hardship. Raising the platform would be a trivial expense (a 5-figure sum I suspect) and the benefits of closure non-existent.

    Cheers

  9. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    Mick,

    Philip Purdy, GMPTE Metrolink Director, has said that Mosley Street Metrolink stop will not close until the “Next Altrincham Departure Indicators” are up and running to inform passengers whether the next Altrincham service is from Piccadilly Gardens or Market Street. That of course assumes that the Secretary of State for Transport gives his consent for the closure. He has yet to indicate his view either way.

    Andrew

  10. Mick Says:

    Thanks for that useful info, Andrew.

    The indicator would lessen the inconvenience, but frankly only to a limited extent.

  11. Peter Says:

    I personally haven’t used the Mosley Street stop as when I head for the nearest Metrolink stop from where I have been in Manchester it’s quite often Market Street. Mosley Street is actually the only stop within the city centre zone which I haven’t used.

    There are plans to send some trams via Exchange Square between St Peters Square and Victoria. Does anyone know which trams are likely to go this way?

    Relating to the question Mike Battman asked about Media City services, these now run as Piccadilly-Media City services for most of the day and Eccles services are diverted via Media City before 07:45 and after 20:00 Mon-Fri (different timings at weekends.) The plan is to run a Cornbrook to Media City shuttle once Cornbrook has been redeveloped to have a southbound terminating platform. To me that doesn’t make a lot of sense with the Media City stop also being the closest stop to the Lowry and the Imperial War Museum and being one of the few Metrolink stops that won’t have a direct link to the busiest station in Manchester in Piccadilly.

  12. Mike Battman Says:

    Mosley Street stop officially closed with the last tram last night

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