By Charlotte Green, local democracy reporter
A NEW tram stop could be built in Oldham as part of an ambitious strategy to revolutionise travel across the region.
The transport plan unveiled by Greater Manchester leaders would see new Metrolink stops, train stations and the birth of the ‘tram-train’.
It is divided into three parts, with 65 projects due to be completed in the next few years, schemes with business cases which could be delivered around 2025 and the vision for new ideas that could be a reality by 2040.
In Oldham, the five-year plan which covers projects that already have secure funding includes a £6m regeneration of the town centre to improve public spaces and transport.
And it features schemes that would bring about better cycling and walking routes, including refurbishing King Street and Union Street foot and cycle bridges.
Council leader Sean Fielding said the travel plans would provide a big boost to businesses and improve residents’ access to new job opportunities.
Plans without ‘secured funding’ beyond the next five years include a new Metrolink stop at Cop Road in the Beal Valley, and boosted park and ride spaces at the Derker stop, and possibly others in the borough.
The new tram stop on the Rochdale-Didsbury line would sit between Derker and Shaw and Crompton, and would serve the existing community in Moorside as well as potential new housing.
Road links could also be improved, with the introduction of a ‘busway’ from the M62 North-east to Oldham town centre, and a new motorway junction near Birch and link road for M62 North-East corridor.
Cllr Fielding said: “The additional stops and capacity that the extra trams will put onto the Oldham and Rochdale line will kind of shrink the conurbation and bring employment opportunities closer for local people.”
He added: “We have the tram, we have the motorway network and we have a number of previously developed industrial sites that can be re-purposed quite quickly and easily and that’s why so many businesses are turning to Oldham to set up shop.”
The council leader welcomed the introduction of a free ‘opportunity’ bus pass for teenagers aged 16-18.
But he added that being able to take control of the bus network in a system similar to London would make using a car no longer people’s first choice.