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Metrolink Introduction > Didsbury Line: updated 25 May 2013
See City Centre for a description of Victoria, Piccadilly, Deansgate–Castlefield and the lines between them; also City South from Deansgate–Castlefield to Cornbrook, Trafford Bar and Chorlton.
On the diagram light green represents operating Metrolink routes. Extension to Airport is shown orange.
From St. Werburgh’s Road to East Didsbury the line runs for 4.5 kilometres along the former Midland railway track bed. It passes under Mauldeth Road West and alongside the south–western edge of Hough End Playing Fields.
Withington stop is on the west side of Princess Road. There is a ramp and steps from the pavement down to the inbound platform. Steps and a lift connect the outbound platform to pavement level. Ramps from both platforms to a foot track level crossing are provided at the Chorlton end of the stop. Many bus routes use Princess Road, allowing easy interchange.
Burton Road stop is on the west side of the road, about 90 metres north of the eastern end of Cavendish Road. It has a ramp and steps to the inbound platform; also a lift and steps to the outbound platform. Ramps from both platforms to a foot track level crossing are provided at the Chorlton end of the stop.
West Didsbury stop is immediately after the line crosses under the Palatine Road/Lapwing Lane junction, it has two single face platforms. There is a ramp and steps from the pavement down to the inbound platform. Steps and a lift connect the outbound platform to pavement level. Two short ramps and a track crossing at the southern end of the stop connect inbound and outbound platforms. As well as serving the local residential area it allows passengers to interchange between buses and trams.
The line crosses under; Elm Road a short distance west of its junction with Lapwing Lane; Parkfield Road South about 75 metres west of Wilmslow Road; Wilmslow Road near the junction with Moorland Road. It then passes through a twin covered way and concrete walled cutting — built as part of the Didsbury Station development — and crosses under School Lane, just to the east of the junction with William Street.
Didsbury Village stop is on the south side of School lane. An access point on School Lane, opposite Beaver Road, has a ramped pathway down to the centre of the outbound platform. From the south–eastern end of this platform a short ramp connects to a pedestrian track crossing to Olive Shapley Avenue also to the inbound platform by a short ramp. Another short ramp will connect the Manchester end of the inbound platform to Olive Shapley Avenue.
The Trans–Pennine Trail and Didsbury Stockport Cycle Path ran from School Lane to Parrs Wood Lane along the route, they were temporarily diverted for Metrolink construction. A short section has been permanently diverted along Olive Shapley Avenue.
When powers were sought for the East Didsbury extension, it was only possible to plan for a single Metrolink track between School Lane and East Didsbury alongside the Trans–Pennine Trail and Didsbury Stockport Cycle Path. Additional land became available and in January 2004 GMPTE were granted the relevant permission for a double track along this section of the route.
Sandhurst Road bridge was restricted to pedestrian and cycle use at surface level. The old bridge and its northern abutment were demolished. With the abutment rebuilt further to the north, a new 3 metres wide footbridge has been installed. Now Metrolink and the Trans–Pennine Trail have been constructed, with both passing under this new bridge.
After crossing under Parrs Wood Road; the line passes the southern edge of The Barlow RC High School playing field before going under the railway line. It then passes behind the Tesco supermarket. Facing and trailing crossovers have been provided just before the line crosses under Kingsway.
East Didsbury is an island platform stop in the cutting between Kingsway and Parrs Wood Lane. Short ramps, at both ends of the island platform, connect to track level. At the western end of the stop steps and a lift connect the Kingsway bridge eastern pavement level to track crossings, allowing access to the platform and Trains–Pennine Trail. There is cycle parking here at track level. A path from this space parallels Kingsway to its junction with Parrs Wood Lane. At the eastern end of the stop a path connects with the Trains–Pennine Trail and the pavement at the corner of Burnage Lane and Parrs Wood Lane.
This stop serves a large number of houses in the East Didsbury and Heaton Mersey areas, as well as shopping and leisure facilities at Parrs Wood. There is a 300–space park and ride facility which is free to use for Metrolink passengers.
Services running from Rochdale railway station to Chorlton have been extended to East Didsbury. The eventual services will run from Rochdale Town Centre and Shaw & Crompton to East Didsbury. On weekdays there will be a six minute interval service, in both directions, between Shaw and Crompton and East Didsbury. During early mornings and in the evenings, this will reduce to a tram every twelve minutes from Rochdale. At weekends, the six minute service will run for a shorter period each day; on Sundays the off peak service will offer one tram every fifteen minutes.
Didsbury Line: top of page
This page was written and illustrated by Tony Williams, Manchester Area Officer, Light Rail Transit Association. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments, ideas or suggestions about these pages.