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2001-02-02 DET-002
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

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Prescott agrees to grant powers for Metrolink extensions


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Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Prescott agrees to grant powers for Metrolink extensions
_______________________________________________________________


date
2 February 2001
source Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
type Press release

note News Release 048


Transport Minister Keith Hill today announced that the Secretary of State is to make three Orders under the Transport and Works Act giving powers for extensions to the Metrolink light rail system.

The first Order will enable the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive to acquire the land they need to build an extension from Pomona to the Trafford Centre, which was authorised by the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) Act 1992. The Order will also allow the PTE to construct an alternative alignment for the route where it crosses the Bridgewater Canal in Trafford Park.

The other two Orders concern the PTE's proposed Metrolink extension from Oldham to Rochdale which was authorised by the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) Act 1994. One Order will enable the PTE to acquire the land needed for the extension where it proceeds through Oldham town centre. The other authorises an alternative alignment in the Mumps area.

Commenting on the decision to make these Orders, Keith Hill said:

"After giving very careful consideration to these proposals, we are satisfied that it would be in the public interest for the statutory powers sought by the Greater Manchester PTE to be given for these schemes.

" Approval of these three Orders will give the PTE the authority they need to expand the successful Metrolink system. We believe that high quality public transport systems like the Metrolink provide an attractive alternative to the use of the car and play an important role in supporting the Government's aim of promoting sustainable and integrated transport.

"The Trafford Park and Oldham to Rochdale extensions will meet an identified public transport need and contribute to achieving that aim".

Notes to editors
1. The Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) Act 1992 authorised the Greater Manchester PTE to construct a 6.1 kilometre extension to the existing Metrolink system from Pomona to the Trafford Centre via Trafford Park. Although the works powers and planning permission for the scheme are extant, the compulsory purchase powers given by that Act expired in November 1997.

2. In order to gain fresh compulsory purchase powers, the PTE applied under the Transport and Works Act for the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) (Trafford Park) Order. They also sought authority in this Order for an alternative alignment for the route of the proposed extension where it crosses the Bridgewater Canal in Trafford Park. That alignment would cross the canal approximately 300 metres to the south-east of the location authorised in the 1992 Act.

3. A public local inquiry into this Order application was held in November 1999 by Mr J A Morgan CBE, BSc. He recommended in his report that the Order should be made and that planning permission should be deemed to be granted for the alternative alignment, subject to conditions.

4. A similar situation arose in respect of another planned Metrolink extension. The Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) Act 1994 authorised the Greater Manchester PTE to construct a 2.5 kilometre diversion of the proposed Metrolink route through Oldham town centre. Although the works powers and planning permission for the scheme are extant, the compulsory purchase powers given by that Act expired in May 1999. The PTE therefore applied for the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) (Land Acquisition) Order to give them fresh land acquisition powers.

5. A public local inquiry into that Order application was held in July 2000 by Mr R Holley CB FRAeS MIMechE MIEE. He recommended in his report that the Order should be made subject to a modification to exclude certain land owned by Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.

6. Having considered both Inspector's Reports, the Secretary of State has decided to make the two Orders, concluding that the wider public benefits of the proposals outweigh the concerns of the few remaining objectors. He has also decided to grant deemed planning permission for the modification of the route of the Trafford Park extension.

7. The PTE also applied for the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) (Mumps Surface Crossing) Order to authorise a short alteration of the proposed alignment of the Metrolink in the Mumps area of Oldham. This would provide an alternative to that alignment originally authorised by the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) Act 1994. The application is unopposed, and the Secretary of state has decided that the Order should be made.

8. Letters in respect of each TWA Order application, conveying the full reasons why the Secretary of State has decided to make the Orders, are being copied to all interested parties.

9. Details of the Metrolink extension projects can be obtained from the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, 9 Portland Street, Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester M60 1HX or from the promoter's Parliamentary Agents, Messrs Bircham Dyson Bell, 1 Dean Farrer Street, Westminster, London SW1H 0DY.


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Media enquiries 020 7944 3044; Out of hours: 020 7944 5925 or 5945
Public Enquiries Unit 020 7944 3000
E-mail: press@dtlr.gov.uk
Web site http://www.dtlr.gov.uk/


Railhub Archive ::: 2001-02-02 DET-002





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