The second city crossing for Metrolink, required as the network expands, is currently set to run from St. Peter’s Square via Princess Street, Cross Street and Corporation Street. However, a pressure group has been set up to argue that Deansgate would be a better option.
The Trams4Deansgate group argues that a route coming down off Castlefield Viaduct onto Deansgate would provide more benefits, connecting more of the city centre to the network.
As Trams4Deansgate member Ian Christie tells us:
“We’ve sent to Philip Purdy and all TfGM Councillors (and many others), a letter asking for a detailed and transparent technical and cost-benefit analysis of the Cross Street route and two ‘short’ Deansgate routes to be carried out before a decision is reached on the second city crossing. We’ve also sent a technical analysis of second city crossing routes prepared by John Gradwell, an engineer, which provides new expert information not previously available.
Before opting for the Cross Street route, GMPTE assessed, costed and compared that route with a ‘long’ Deansgate route coming along Chester Road from Cornbrook. As you probably know, they never fully investigated or costed shorter Deansgate routes coming down to Deansgate from Castlefield Viaduct.
Without such a detailed comparison, TfGM cannot claim to have considered a realistic alternative to the Cross Street route or to be providing best value for money. We’re asking them to carry a detailed investigation of these shorter routes.”
While the group has a point regarding a Deansgate route opening up more of the city centre to trams, on a personal level, Deansgate has never struck me as a logical choice. It’s already frequently congested with traffic. Adding the additional burden of trams would make things worse and hold up the trams too. Can you imagine waiting half an hour for a tram because it got stuck in peak time traffic? Cross Street is largely restricted to buses and vehicles that require access for most of the week, as such that route would cause far less disruption to the network.
What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know.
[Image credit: Stephen Douglas]