WORK to transform Altrincham Interchange will start imminently, following the appointment of a contractor for a major improvement scheme.
Construction firm Laing O’Rourke will be delivering the £19m project to revitalise and refurbish the interchange, which transport and council bosses promise will provide a new, fully integrated transport hub with much improved facilities, accessible to all.
They add it will also offer an impressive new gateway for visitors arriving in Altrincham, and will play a key role in shaping the vision for the town centre being driven by Altrincham Forward, the public/private sector regeneration partnership that includes Trafford Council.
It will transform the existing interchange into a new, fully accessible facility with a modern concourse; improved links between bus, train and tram services; and enhanced CCTV and passenger information systems.
A new, integrated ticket office will also be provided within the existing Victorian station building.
As part of the Greater Manchester commuter cycling project, which is being part-funded through the Government’s local sustainable transport fund, a dedicated cycle hub will also be provided at the interchange, providing secure, covered cycle parking for more than 50 bikes.
Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Committee, which will oversee the project, said: “The transformation we are delivering will fully complement and support the excellent work being done in Altrincham, which is itself undergoing great change and improvements.
“Altrincham Interchange is a major gateway into the town centre, and this significant investment will provide a first rate facility, marrying the proud history of the site with attractive, modern features. I look forward to work getting under way.”
Leader of Trafford Council and chairman of Altrincham Forward, Cllr Matt Colledge, said: “Altrincham Forward is driving a huge programme of work to restore Altrincham’s position as a vibrant, modern market town.
“The interchange development, which will provide a striking new gateway to the town centre, will be important in helping to achieve our vision and I look forward to seeing the scheme start to take shape over the coming months.”
Tom Higgins, leader for Laing O’Rourke’s construction business in the north, said: “Laing O’Rourke is delighted to again be working alongside TfGM, with our project team looking forward to the safe and efficient delivery of this pivotal project for Altrincham.”
Work to prepare for the redevelopment of Altrincham Interchange was completed last year with the demolition of a disused footbridge over Stamford New Road.
The transformation of the interchange will now take place in two phases, with the first section focusing on the historic building and canopies, and some further preparatory work.
From February 18, around 16 spaces on the Oakfield car park will be used to provide a site compound for the duration of the project. Hoardings will be erected alongside the boundary of the railway and car park, with minimal disruption for users.
In addition, from February 27, the Northern Rail ticket office will move temporarily from platform one to Platform four.
Once the first phase is complete, the project will focus on the rest of the site, which will require bus services to operate from nearby temporary stands. Comprehensive passenger information and support will be provided in the run up to and throughout the project.
As a whole, the project is due to be completed in 2014.