1980 version of bus station to close this weekend

This Saturday sees the end of one era for Stockport bus station, and the start of another one. By midnight on the 29th August 2021, the 1980 version of Stockport bus station will be gone for good.

In its place will be a new state-of-the-art single terminal bus station which will have twenty stands. This will form part of a £1billion development, which will boost the attractiveness of Stockport town centre. Part of the plan includes an urban park over the bus station’s twenty stands and improved pedestrian access to Stockport Edgeley railway station. On the site of the present bus park will be 196 apartments (126 with two bedrooms, 70 with one bedroom).

The new bus station will have:

  • A TfGM Travelshop with real time bus and train information screens;
  • Cycle racks, lifts and stairs from the bus station to the urban park;
  • Fully accessible toilets; as at Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange, with baby changing and Changing Places facilities;
  • A Blue-Roof drainage system which captures and stores rainwater. This allows control run-off into drainage outfall and watercourses, which aims to stop flooding.

Planning permission for the development was approved in 2019. From Sunday [29th August], most of Stockport’s bus routes will be using a temporary bus station off Heaton Lane. This is on the site of a multi-storey car park which was previously the site of a bus depot for Stockport Corporation.

Before 1980, Stockport’s buses used town centre stops with many routes calling, starting or finishing its journeys at Mersey Square. Other routes used the bus park on Daw Bank or stops close to the bus park. The 192s used (and still use) on-street stops on Wellington Road (North for Manchester, South for Hazel Grove).

From April to November 1980, Stockport bus station saw its first passengers. The then-new bus station cost £1.4 million to build, making it GMPTE’s fifth purpose-built bus station (the previous were Altrincham Interchange (1976), Rochdale (1978), Arndale Bus Station (1979), and Bury Interchange (1980)). Once fully opened, Greater Manchester Transport changed many of its Stockport-bound routes with more routes terminating there. One example is the 330 route which hitherto terminated at Cheadle Old Road, Edgeley.

It was the first of Greater Manchester PTE’s interchanges to use standard prefabricated sections designed by Essex, Goodman and Suggitt. It was used in subsequent GMPTE bus stations from 1980 to 1994 including the second and third versions of Ashton-under-Lyne bus station, Bolton Moor Lane bus station, and Oldham Town Square bus station.

With the demolition of Stockport’s bus station, there will be only one bus station in our City Region that uses the Essex, Goodman and Suggitt (later EGS Design) prefabricated panels. That is Leigh bus station, which opened in 1991 as a replacement for two smaller bus stations.

Unlike its 1980 version, the approach to Stockport Edgeley railway station will be more gradual. At present, access to the station is via a stepped footpath which is impossible for wheelchair users and hard work for anybody with pushchairs. A ramped footpath and bridge over Daw Bank will make for easier access to the station. Some people might think of this as a poor replacement for the long-gone 300 Metroshuttle service or a funicular railway.

At street level, there will be traffic-free pedestrian access to Mersey Square for the Plaza Super Cinema and Merseyway Shopping Centre. Once the new Stockport Interchange opens, there will be a dramatic improvement in passenger waiting facilities and retail offerings.

Temporary stands

With effect from the 29th August 2021, the stands will be as follows:

Heaton Lane temporary bus station:

  • H1: 325 (Brinnington);
  • H2: 322, 324 and 327 (Brinnington, Haughton Green and Denton); 199 (Manchester Airport);
  • H3: 382 (Bredbury), 384 (Romiley and Marple Circular);
  • H4: 368 (Wythenshawe), X5 (Sale);
  • H5: 23 (Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Stretford and Trafford Centre);
  • H6: 42 (Heaton Mersey, Didsbury and Manchester city centre), 364 (Bosden Farm).

Mersey Square/Wellington Road South:

  • BB (front): 199 (Buxton), 391/392 (Macclesfield);
  • BB (back): 191 (Hazel Grove and Middlewood), 192 (Stepping Hill and Hazel Grove);
  • D: 11A (Wythenshawe Park, Timperley and Altrincham), 323 (Heaton Mersey Circular);
  • E: 11 (Cheadle, Wythenshawe, and Altrincham);
  • F: 328 (Adswood and Edgeley Circular);
  • G: 314 (Offerton), 358 (Marple, New Mills and Hayfield), 360 (Hazel Grove, New Mills and Hayfield), 375 (Mellor), 383 (Romiley and Marple Circular).

Wellington Road North:

  • AA: 25 (Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Stretford and Trafford Centre), X92 (Manchester), 191 (Manchester), 192 (Heaton Chapel, Levenshulme, Longsight, Ardwick and Manchester), 197 (Burnage and Manchester), 364 (Heaton Norris);
  • CC: 313 (Cheadle Hulme), 374 (Adswood and Hazel Grove Circular), 378/378A (Cheadle Hulme Circular), 379 (Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme Circular).

Little Edgerton Street:

  • LE: 7/7A/7B (Reddish, Gorton, Droylsden and Ashton-under-Lyne), 203 (Reddish, Gorton and Manchester city centre), 330 (Woodley, Hyde, Dukinfield and Ashton-under-Lyne).

Alighting only stands:

Viaduct Street and Astley Street.

The 192 and X92 routes (both southbound and northbound journeys) will continue to use its usual stands on Wellington Road South (BB) and Wellington Road North (AA).

All coaches will pick up and set down at Stand CC.

And finally…

What are your recollections of the old Stockport bus station? Will you miss it or will you be glad to see it go, in favour of a zippier, more welcoming version? As always, feel free to comment.

S.V., 25 August 2021.

3 thoughts on “A New Era Begins for Stockport Bus Station

  1. Hopefully the new bus station will be a vast improvement. The current/old one is a rather horrible, oppressive place to be in the evening – so much so that I’ve generally preferred to get the bus from stops on the street a short way into the journey, rather than use the bus station. It just feels nicer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrew,

      At least in its recent state, I wouldn’t be missing the 1980 version of Stockport bus station. It was probably great 40 years ago, but we expect today’s bus interchanges to be like airport terminals with a single concourse, toilets, shops and (in some cases) parking facilities (for bicycles and/or cars).

      From a personal safety point of view, Stockport’s outgoing bus station is awful at nighttime. That was a problem I had with the previous Ashton bus station. The present facility – almost a year old – is a vast improvement and more inviting place to wait for a bus after dark (well, so long as I stop myself from staying too long in The Prince of Orange or The Beau Geste). The one thing I hated most about Stockport bus station was the toilets – they were unspeakably bad. Even when they were clean.

      I should imagine that the new Stockport bus station would be a vast improvement facilities-wise but for some reason, the opening around the urban park reminds me of the long-gone Hole In The Road in Sheffield.

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

      Like

  2. Trying to get from the old bus station to Stockport rail station was a nightmare. You had to try & get across Daw Bank first and then dice with death crossing Exchange St to the steps up to Station Rd (across a blind corner)

    Liked by 1 person

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