28 March, 2008
Rochdale is to receive up to £10 million for a state-of-the-art transport interchange following a funding bid by Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority.
Transport Minister Rosie Winterton announced the government support for the £11.5 million project today.
£1.5 million has already been provided by Rochdale Development Agency through the Single Regeneration Budget, allowing preparatory works to start on site.
Councillor Allen Brett, Vice-chair and Rochdale spokesperson for GMPTA said: "This is fantastic news for all Rochdalians and for people who come and visit the town. This is the announcement that we have all been waiting for – public transport users in Rochdale will soon be getting a brand new interchange that will really improve travel.
"At a time when everyone is being encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint, the new interchange will help make using public transport much more attractive. And on top of that, it will be at the centre of a wider regeneration scheme.
"Our ultimate plan is for Rochdale Interchange to include a Metrolink stop too, bringing trams right to the heart of the town centre."
Andy Zuntz, Executive Director of Rochdale Borough Council said: "This is tremendous news for the whole area. A new interchange in Rochdale will kick-start the town centre redevelopment and make public transport better and easier to use for everyone in the borough."
John Hudson, Chief Executive of Rochdale Development Agency added: "The creation of the new bus station is a major catalyst in bringing to life plans to modernise the town centre. We’ve listened to how local people would like to use the centre and the proposals mean we can make the retail heart bigger, better and much more accessible.
"We can also bring into use the riverside area which the new station will look onto. It’s an exciting time for Rochdale."
Rochdale Interchange will be built on Smith Street, next to the River Roch, and will replace the existing bus station in the town centre.
The new interchange will feature CCTV, real time passenger information, an enclosed waiting area and toilets. It will also have space for retail outlets, and will let in much more natural light than the current bus station.
For more information about public transport services in Rochdale visit www.gmpte.com, or call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 (calls cost 10p per minute from landlines). Lines are open from 7am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 8pm at weekends.