Station plea gets up steam - By Samson Dada

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Station plea gets up steam - By Samson Dada

  1. 1. stockportexpress.co.uk 4 STOCKPORT EXPRESS WEDNESDAY 16 OCTOBER 2013 NEWS Homes are ‘blighted’ by canteen NEW HOPE Dorothy Ashwoth from the Friends of Reddish South Station pictured on the deserted platform in 2011 and, above, the ‘ghost train’ timetable Station plea gets up steam SAMSON DADA TWO councils have joined forces to urge transport bosses to open a regular service to Britain’s quietest station for the first time in over 20 years. Reddish South Station has been served by the oneway ‘ghost train’, which stops on Fridays at 10.20am travelling to Staly- bridge from Stockport, since 1991. At tomorrow’s Stockport full council meeting a cross-party motion has been tabled for a regular passenger service from Stockport to Manchester Victoria, stopping at South Reddish and Denton. The motion also has the backing of Tameside Council and states that the serv- ice would ‘improve access to attractions, amenities and places of work in the area of the city centre served by the station for which there is high demand locally and would have significant economic benefits for Stockport, including supporting local employment and visitor attractions’. It adds the new line – which would need to be approved by Transport For Greater Manchester (TfGM) – would relieve pressure elsewhere on road and rail networks. Stockport executive councillor Iain Roberts said: “The people of Reddish South deserve more than one train and it is viable for a line between Manchester Victoria and Stockport. “Transport For Greater Manchester needs to build the line or explain why they cannot.” The Friends of South Reddish Station, formed in 2007, have long campaigned for the regular service. Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne said: “It’s really great news that both Stockport and Tameside councils are joining the campaign to get a proper service restored to Reddish South and Denton stations. “The Friends of Reddish South Station have put up such a great case, but we now need that higher-level lobbying at TfGM. That’s why Stockport Council’s involvement is so crucial as they have that important way in to TfGM, and it’s brilliant to have cross-party support with it.” But TfGM has said it would be expensive and there is a shortage of trains and tracks for the service. Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM committee, said: “We are very much aware of the desire for regular services on the Reddish South Denton line. “The potential provision of services from Stockport to both Victoria and Stalybridge has already been run through TfGM’s forecasting models as part of the preliminary work for this wideranging service review. “This has confirmed that the costs associated with starting a new service are considerable, and that one from Stockport to Manchester Victoria or Stalybridge would require additional subsidy. “Furthermore, there is a shortage of suitable diesel rolling stock and lack of track capacity on the network for a regular service between Stockport and Manchester Victoria.” Plans for schools to merge TWO primary schools are set to merge under plans to create almost 200 extra pupil places. Orrishmere Primary in Cheadle Hulme will close and join with nearby Queens Road Primary on Buckingham Road if the £8m plans are approved. The move will create a new 630-place school and nursery – currently the two schools have a total of around 450 pupils. Both headteachers have sent letters to parents and, following a consultation, the new Queens Road could open in time for the 2015 school year. Cheadle councillor Keith Holloway, a governor of Orrishmere, said: “It is a response to the increasing number of primary school aged children in Cheadle Hulme and taking into account the conditions of the schools it is a sensible option to explore.” The plans are part of a four-year programme in the borough to provide 2,420 places across Stockport. A total of 1,140 have already been created, with a further 1,280 needed by 2016. The council says the alternative option would be to spend almost £4m on repairs and extension at both schools that would leave ‘children in inadequate buildings that are unfit for purpose on two neighbouring sites’. A spokesman said: “There is, nationally and locally, an increase in the number of children requiring school places. “The council has an ambition to do more than just extend existing buildings that have a backlog of repairs and is looking to renew primary schools where we can and one of the first of this new programme is in Cheadle Hulme. “The council is planning to invest up to £8m on a new primary school for Cheadle Hulme that is proposed for the grounds of Queen’s Road Primary. “Both Orrishmere and Queen’s Road Primaries are in active discussion over their merger when they take up residence in 2015.” RESIDENTS have been left angered by a firm’s ‘temporary’ staff canteen that they claim has been blighting their homes for three years. The temporary building at Churchwood Financial in Heaton Norris has been given a further six months by Stockport Council. A central area committee heard it first appeared in 2010 and caused nuisance for homes on nearby Parsonage Road. Complaints include security CCTV pointing at houses, noise from staff and that the temporary building is an eyesore. But members granted a further six-month renewal of temporary permission, half what the debt management company asked for. One resident said: “The building brings staff into the car park creating noise and disturbance. There was no consultation. CCTV cameras are pointing into my house, it is a privacy invasion.” Churchwood says it is looking for a permanent solution, but a planning application for a new canteen has been turned down. Councillor Philip Harding said: “It is very a unsatisfactory situation for residents. I am fed up of this, it makes a mockery of the whole process.” A spokesman for Churchwood said: “It has not been possible to secure a alternative premises or agree a scheme. We are asking for temporary permission while we get those plans in order.” MP’s action on racist loophole A LEGAL loophole that allows racist abuse against the police inside people’s homes could be closed thanks to Stockport MP Ann Coffey. She has tabled an amendment to a bill currently going through Parliament – after she was contacted by a Greater Manchester police officer who witnessed a black colleague being abused while trying to break up a dispute at a house. Ms Coffey said: “I was shocked to hear the offender could not be charged as it was in a dwelling.” The amendment will need cross-party support. Car vandals POLICE are investigating after a car was torched and nine others vandalised in the early hours of Sunday. A Ford Focus was set on fire in a compound near Gough Street off Chestergate in the town centre just before 3am. Fire crews from Stockport and Whitehill were called to the scene and discovered nine cars had also had their windows smashed.

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