Opening of new Stockport Interchange dedicated to Bob Kerslake

Viaduct Park opens in Stockport

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham praised the contribution of the late Lord Bob Kerslake at the official opening of Stockport’s new transport interchange and rooftop park.

He said: “I appointed Bob as the first chair of the Mayoral Development Corporation. This place will always be a part of his legacy.”

Lord Kerslake, who died from cancer in July 2023, was a former head of the civil service and a passionate advocate for the North, despite originating from the west of England.

Burnham added: “When we set up the Mayoral Development Corporation it was about delivering an ambitious vision for the town and the interchange is showing this mission in action. It has also been delivered on time and on budget – and I would like to thank everyone that has worked so hard to make this happen.

“In January 2025, the Bee Network is coming to Stockport and eventually it will be the first area in Greater Manchester serviced by a fully electric bus fleet. By providing people with a modern, attractive and accessible interchange we will get more people on these buses – allowing us to keep prices down and continue to improve the network.”

Lord Bob Kerslake

The new transport hub contains a new two-acre park, recently named as Viaduct Park, new walking and cycling links to the railway station and the town centre, and is the latest phase of the ongoing regeneration of Stockport Town Centre West.

The Interchange has been delivered on time and on its £140m budget by Stockport Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, alongside construction company Willmott Dixon and architects on the project, the Harris Partnership.

It features 18 bus stands which will allow for 164 departures an hour, making it an integral part of the Bee Network – Greater Manchester’s vision for an integrated, London-style transport system – when buses in Stockport are brought under local control from January 2025. 

Burnham reiterated his commitment to working with TfGM and Stockport’s Liberal Democrat leadership to deliver Metrolink to the town and the Interchange, which started in 2021 under the previous Labour administration, and has been designed with tram integration in mind.

Stockport’s leader Cllr Mark Hunter added: “I would like to thank everyone who has made this project a reality.

“We have so many exciting projects happening in Stockport this year and I really can’t wait to see everyone enjoying the new park, and the wider development.”

The opening includes a new walking and cycling route from Viaduct Park to Station Road, connecting the interchange to the town’s train station.

From late April a spiral and cycle walking ramp will connect the new park with the River Mersey frontage and Trans Pennine Trail. 

Lord Kerslake’s successor as chair of the Stockport MDC, Eamonn Boylan and the soon to be retiring chief executive of the Combined Authority, said: “Over the course of 2024 we will see even more major milestones brought forward within the Town Centre West masterplan, which will cement Stockport’s position as one of the most exciting, and, arguably more importantly, the most convenient, towns to live.”

Architects and planners The Harris Partnership collaborated with Willmott Dixon on behalf of Transport for Greater Manchester and Stockport Council to deliver the project.

Carl Braim, director at The Harris Partnership said: “Stockport Interchange is a landmark project, marking a once in a generation investment by partners including Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation, TfGM and Wilmott Dixon. We’re pleased to have played a key part in the delivery of one of the biggest single projects outside of London and create an accessible multi-modal transport hub and new town centre park. We hope that this new space will provide an attractive welcome to residents and visitors alike wherever their onwards travels may take them.”