Background

Work has now started on Stockport Interchange, which will include a town centre podium park, high quality apartments, state-of-the-art transport facilities and improved links between the new interchange and train station.

The transport interchange will transform this important part of our town centre. As well as improvement to bus provision, the scheme will include new cycling and walking infrastructure to make journeys on foot or by bicycle much easier and more attractive.

The scheme is being delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Stockport Council. Following on from previous consultation exercises and stakeholder feedback, we are looking to introduce a new direct cycle and pedestrian access ramp from the proposed park level of the new Stockport interchange development to connect down to the River Mersey frontage and Trans Pennine Trial.

The ramp will provide a step free, lift-free and traffic-free link for pedestrians and cyclists, between the two levels, a height distance of some 8.5 metres.

By implementing the new link, cyclists would be able to safely navigate the level change, thus improving accessibility for all cyclists including those who use adapted cycles and those not wanting to dismount to use the lift during their journey. For pedestrians, the ramp would offer a direct, 24-hour, step-free, route at an Inclusive Mobility compliant gradient to the Mersey frontage and Trans Pennine Trail, with a short onward journey to the town centre. The ramp would be in addition to the lift and the pedestrian access along the River Mersey frontage and to the steps on Wellington Road would be maintained.

Proposed key features of the ramp include:

  • 189 metre length ramp

  • A combined use pedestrian and cyclist path of 4.5 metre in width (3 metres cyclist and 1.5 metre pedestrian path)

  • A maximum gradient of 1:21 slope.

  • A resting point with seating on the ramp spiral, providing a viewpoint in an easterly direction along the River Mersey (the width of the ramp would be widened at this point, so the path width is not reduced)

  • An additional access/egress point for pedestrian access onto the riverfront via a short-curved feature staircase 

  • A raised central delineator between the cycle and pedestrian path for separation between pedestrians and cyclists

  • Anti-slip surface covering, shaded in different colours to indicate the spaces for cyclists and pedestrians

  • An LED lighting system installed to the underside of the handrail and overhead to ensure visibility and safety when using the ramp. Feature lighting strips are proposed to be included on the outside of the ramp

  • Planting at the base of the ramp spiral and tiered soft landscaping below the ramp on the River Mersey frontage

  • Seating at the base of the ramp within the spiral

  • CCTV to monitor activity for safety and security reasons on the ramp

  • A concreate pier structure with a paint finish, corten steel columns and webnet mesh steel barriers with steel handrails (in keeping with the design for the proposed cycling and walking bridge between the new podium park and link to Station Rd)

Artistic representation of the Stockport interchange ramp


Connectivity

The ramp would connect with the scheme’s new bridge over Daw Bank, via the cycle and pedestrian paths in the podium park, forming an essential part of a longer-distance cycling route which connects areas to the south-west of Stockport to the town centre with its important retail, cultural, transport and civic functions. The new infrastructure would support the Greater Manchester wide Bee Network programme to make cycling and walking easier and more attractive.

Cycle parking will be available on the new podium park, Swaine St and in the nearby A6 arch adjacent to the Trans Pennine Trail route.

It is also expected that the proposed ramp would be a significant link in providing a direct, safe and unique route allowing improved connectivity between bus and rail.

View from start of the ramp


Location

On the River Mersey frontage, the ramp would be located approximately 10 metres from the new interchange façade, with the ramp spiral overhanging the River Mersey. With two spirals, the angle of the upper level provides a seamless interface with the podium park, and the base of the ramp is appropriately distanced from the foot of the Wellington Steps to minimise the possibility of pedestrian and cyclist conflict.

The position of the ramp would ensure:

  • Emergency vehicular access is maintained along the River Mersey frontage.

  • Pedestrian access along Mersey frontage and to Wellington Steps is not impacted

  • Access and the Trans Pennine Trail route is maintained on the river frontage

  • Access to the new interchange is not impacted

There are constraints to building the new ramp on any side of the new interchange. The Mersey frontage has been chosen as it provided the most viable location and the positioning of the ramp was chosen as there was sufficient space. It also to provide a direct link onto the Trans Pennine Trail and to allow a work around of existing constrains, for example, underground tunnels gas mains and drainage sewers; maintaining vehicle access into and out of the new interchange and not impacting on the surrounding public highways.

Stockport interchange ramp


Design and structure

A spiral configuration was selected for its compact form, ensuring a maximum slope of 1:21 could be maintained along the ramp and avoiding impact on the Trans Pennine Trail route and entrances to the new interchange. The design allows for a maximise headroom clearances beneath the ramp of 3.6 metres, with the sweeping curved structure also providing a visual spectacle.

The centre of the spiral offers space at ground level for pop-up retail stores and seating and opportunities.

The ramp has been designed with the surrounding heritage and listed structures in mind. The height of the ramp will not be greater than the new podium park. A resting area is proposed on the upper spiral of the ramp which will include seating and a direct viewpoint of the A6 Wellington Rd. Other new surrounding developments pending, views of the Railway Viaduct will remain available from the River Mersey frontage, in addition to users of the ramp gaining an elevated view of the viaduct when on the western side of the ramp or from the new podium park.

The design of both the ramp and the scheme’s new bridge over Daw Bank will be in keeping with one another to ensure one landscape strategy. For example, it is proposed that the materials such as Corten steel surface colouring will be the same between the bridge and the ramp.

3D render of paving and supports for the ramp


Accessibility and Safety

A significant factor in the spiral configuration along the Mersey frontage is that it allows the gradient to gradually lower, so it is not too steep for users wanting to travel up or down on foot or bicycle.   

The gradient will be 1:21. Signage and surface markings will be installed to promote speed awareness.

As with the paths across the new podium park and bridge, the paths will be shaded in different colours to indicate the spaces for cyclists and pedestrians. Signage and surface markings will be installed to promote speed awareness.

View from on the ramps showing separate cycle and walking areas


Have Your Say

TfGM and Stockport Council want to hear from residents, businesses, and community organisations on what they think of the proposal to introduce the access ramp. Take part in the survey to have your say on the plans.

Responses to the survey must be submitted by 23:59 on Sunday 6th February 2022. If you require the survey in an alternative format, please contact the Stockport Interchange project team by email : Customer.Relations@tfgm.com or phone: 0161 244 1000

We appreciate the time and effort made in responding to our survey. All feedback is carefully considered and, wherever appropriate incorporated into our plans. This enables the plans to be a reflection of the views of members of the public who have taken part.