Altrincham Interchange has officially opened its doors to the public after a £19million cash boost aiming to make travel easier, safer and more convenient.
Contractors Laing O’Rourke and Transport for Greater Manchester carried out the redevelopment, along with Altrincham Forward, a public and private sector partnership that includes Trafford Council.
The development which opened on Sunday December 7, boasts a new ticket office, CCTV, a modern, fully indoor concourse with improved passenger information systems and a 45 tonne steel bridge – connecting the four interchange platforms.
Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, Councillor Andrew Fender, said: “This is a hugely significant landmark in the 133-year history of this site, which was first opened in April 1881 and has long been a focal point of innovation for transport.
“Customers can now experience the improved facilities for themselves and enjoy the benefits of a fully integrated, fully accessible and eco-friendly transport hub that is sympathetic to the heritage of the original facility.”
The multi-million pound developments saw the inclusion of 53 solar panels fitted to the roof of the concourse, making the interchange more environmentally friendly.
With this addition of this renewable energy supply, the interchange will generate over 9500 kWh of electricity and save 5.5 tonnes of CO2 each year.
There will also be a cycling hub providing covered cycle parking for more than 50 bikes to help promote the Greater Manchester Commuter Cycling Project – a part-funded scheme with the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
Councillor Sean Anstee, Leader of Trafford Council, said: “The opening of the new Altrincham interchange is a great historical occasion and will be an important legacy for the people of Trafford.
“Trafford Council is very proud to be a key partner in this fantastic new development.”
Passengers also seem satisfied that the interchange’s makeover was a 19million well spent.
Marjorie Brown, 65, from Altrincham felt it was definitely worth the £19million. She told MM: “Altrincham was becoming extremely shabby. The trouble is it has taken so long.”
Regular bus user Ann Preston, 73, from Hale Barns was pleased with the attention to detail and said: “It’s great it’s all sealed up and you’re not getting cold. It’s better than it was, they’ve taken an interest in it.”
The bus and train station has been an important hub of the community since it first opened on April 3 1881.
In 1931 Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway became the first line in the UK to carry passengers on a three-car multiple 1500V dc electric train.
Sixty years later the first Metrolink line, Altrincham to Bury, was opened by HRH the Queen on June 15 1992.
Completion of the redevelopment will be done in stages with the work hoping to be finished in spring 2015.