RAILWAY enthusiasts fear multi-million-pound redevelopment plans will see the destruction of Altrincham Station’s historic canopies.

Transport bosses plan to carry out a £19 million revamp of the town’s bus, train and tram interchange.

Although the passenger transport executive (GMPTE) was tight-lipped this week about details of the scheme, the Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society claims it would mean the 129-year-old canopies on the four platforms would be demolished.

The society says a Victorian footbridge would also be knocked down.

The main station building was originally earmarked for demolition, but transport bosses have now agreed to retain it, according to the society.

GMPTE officials outlined their plans at a presentation to the Altrincham Interchange group, whose members include Andrew Macfarlane, the secretary of Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society.

The society says it is vital to preserve the Victorian canopy supports. These date back to when the station opened in 1881, although the roofs have been replaced.

But the society concedes the footbridge may have to be removed, to improve disabled access.

Andrew said: “We are campaigning to save the canopies. They would be a real loss to Altrincham’s heritage and are in pretty good condition. It would be a waste of money to knock them down and replace them with modern ones.

“The footbridge may have to go. It is a shame, but I can’t see how it could be made accessible for disabled people.”

GMPTE said the scheme is being developed with Trafford Council, and is key to the town centre’s regeneration. It is being funded through the Greater Manchester Transport Fund.

GMPTE spokesman Peter Boulton said: “We are currently working with a design team to develop the plans for the creation of a state-of-the-art interchange, and these will be informed by a full consultation with stakeholders and the public before a planning application is submitted to Trafford Council in spring 2010.”