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.
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.
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.