Former railway sidings “perfect for car park” says rail campaign chairman

Date published: 17 July 2019

Land which held former railway sidings at Smithy Bridge would be ideal as a car park for train commuters, says the chairman of a local rail campaign group, as it has now come on the market.

Richard Greenwood, chairman of STORM (Support the Oldham Rochdale Manchester rail line), believes the land – previously used by low-speed track sections away from the main rail line – would be well-situated to provide a large car park for rail commuters and ease parking congestion on the roads.

He said: “A large car park is now essential for all busy commuter stations. Although there is a car park at Smithy Bridge station, it is not an official station car park.

“Currently many commuters are parking their cars on Smithy Bridge Road itself and on local estate roads.

“At Littleborough, parking is acute, cars are parked in all the roads local to the station and further parking restrictions are being considered for Hollingworth Road. When the former Akzo Nobel site is developed for housing, there will be even more pressure at Littleborough.

“Smithy Bridge is a natural commuter railhead for Milnrow and Newhey rather than Rochdale, where the station car park is always full well before 9.00am. A large rail user car park at Smithy Bridge will help commuters from a wide area, as well as easing the pressure on residents.”

He added: “STORM feels that acquiring this plot of land is the last opportunity of meeting this need.”

A Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) spokesperson said: “As part of TfGM’s work to reduce congestion in Greater Manchester, we are currently identifying sites across the region for new park and ride facilities.

“The work is in the very early stages and potential sites are being assessed for their feasibility including suitability of the available land, potential capacity, demand and available funding.”

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