Positive response to plans for Metrolink’s Second City Crossing

31 October 2011  •  Source: Transport for Greater Manchester

Almost three in four responses to the public consultation over plans for a second Metrolink line through Manchester City Centre were positive, a report to transport leaders shows.

Transport for Greater Manchester carried out the 14-week consultation to ask people for their views on plans for a second line, known as the Second City Crossing (2CC), following St Peter’s Square, Princess Street, Cross Street and Corporation Street to Manchester Victoria.

At the same time, Manchester City Council held a related consultation over plans to relocate the Cenotaph within St Peter’s Square.

The 2CC line would involve new stops at St Peter’s Square and Exchange Square.

A report published on Friday shows that more than 1,200 responses were received – 93 per cent from members of the public and seven per cent from stakeholders, such as businesses, organisations and community groups.

Of the responses, 71 per cent were positive overall, while 19 per cent were negative and 10 per cent were neutral. Members of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee’s Capital Projects and Policy Sub Committee will consider the report at a meeting this Friday.

Subject to their approval, an application for a Transport and Works Act Order will be made to secure the powers to construct and operate the new route.

Councillor Roger Jones, Chair of the Capital Projects and Policy Sub Committee, said: “We have had a very positive response to the Second City Crossing proposals not just in terms of the number of responses but in what people had to say about the scheme.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to find out about the plans either through the brochure, the website or at one of the many face-to-face events that were held, and for sharing their thoughts with us.

“The Second City Crossing is a crucial part of the expanding Metrolink network, so it is vital that we get it right: that involves balancing the wider city centre strategy and the views of people who live, work and do business there with the best solution for the system and the public purse.”

The consultation was supported by a multi-format brochure, a dedicated website, several public exhibitions and a wide variety of face-to-face engagement with businesses and stakeholders along the proposed route.

The brochure was sent to more than 7,000 residents, businesses and organisations within the city centre ahead of the consultation opening.

It was also sent to businesses, tenants and property owners along the proposed route, statutory consultees and key stakeholders (including ward councillors, MPs and MEPs), organisations such as CityCo, community organisations and other stakeholder groups, and to TfGM’s consultation panel, which has an 800-member database.

Posters promoting the consultation went up at every Metrolink stop, hoardings were displayed in the city centre, and 13 exhibitions were held at key locations, including Victoria Station, the Arndale Centre, the Triangle shopping centre, the Town Hall and the Bridgewater Hall.

During the consultation, a dedicated stakeholder engagement team met with businesses, occupiers, residents and landlords to discuss the scheme in detail.

In addition, the team held meetings and gave presentations to the major business and transport forums in and around Manchester, including the Chamber of Commerce, Marketing Manchester, CityCo, Passenger Focus and Travelwatch Northwest.

People could formally respond to the consultation by completing the form in the brochure, through the dedicated TfGM 2CC website (which had almost 30,000 hits during the consultation), by email and by post.

Responses covered a variety of issues, including the redevelopment of St Peter’s Square and the Peace Gardens, funding, traffic, congestion and impact on car users, bus provision and bus routing, cycling provision, pedestrian and disabled access, servicing and access, public realm and heritage, environment, and impact on residents and businesses.

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