SPACES in the Radcliffe Metrolink car park will be significantly reduced for the next five months during expansion works.
Work to construct an upper deck to the car park in Spring Lane will begin on Monday and will eventually increase car parking capacity by 119 spaces — from 250 to 369.
But for the duration of the work, expected to last until July, there will be just 70 spaces available — less than one third of those usually available in the car park.
Work to expand parking facilities at Whitefield Metrolink station began in January and is also expected to be completed in the summer.
Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Committee, said: “Park and ride facilities are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money and help ease congestion in the city centre.
“Due to their popularity, the facilities at Radcliffe and Whitefield were starting to reach their maximum capacity.
That’s why TfGM is expanding the car parks at both sites, which are provided free of charge to passengers.
“To minimise the impact, TfGM has staggered the works.”
The park and ride in Radcliffe was brought into operation when the Bury line opened in 1992.
Last August, Bury Council's planning committee approved two applications from TfGM to add new decks to the car parks at Whitefield and Radcliffe Metrolink stops.
The work will increase the combined number of car parking spaces from 377 to 580, a 52 per cent increase overall. TfGM said the works were aimed at reducing congestion on the roads near the station and cutting down on the number of commuters parking in front of houses.
Public information events were held at both sites last May to inform users about TfGM’s proposals.
At the planning committee meeting on August 20, one resident of Haworth Street formally supported the plans claiming they would solve parking problems in Church Street and Spring Lane.
However, there was concern about whether there would be noise and a loss of parking spaces during construction work. TfGM must adhere to strict rules concerning noise, working hours and parking arrangements during the works and has agreed to keep neighbours informed.
One objector was concerned that the cars parked on the first floor level would be at the same level as neighbouring houses, so TfGM plans to use landscaping, including shrubs, to shield the car park from view.
A council planning report states: “The development would include a series of measures designed to prevent anti-social behaviour.
“These would include controlled access at the entrance and exit points, a high standard of lighting and CCTV cameras.”
For more information about alternative park and ride facilities: go to metrolink.co.uk/Pages/Park-and-Ride.aspx