Transport and Works Act Order granted by Secretary of State
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has given approval to Network Rail for construction of the Ordsall Chord, which will link Manchester’s Piccadilly and Victoria stations.
The scheme, which involves construction of a 340 metre long connecting viaduct between Castlefield and Deal Street junctions, has been the subject of a number of objections, including from English Heritage, chiefly because of its impact on a number of historic structures along the proposed route, including three Grade I listed buildings.
The Transport and Works Act Order has been granted following a public inquiry, which came out in favour of the scheme.
In his decision letter, Mr McLoughlin notes the current constraints of the rail infrastructure in Manchester, saying he ‘agrees…that there is a pressing need for a new route connecting the Piccadilly and Victoria corridors to expand rail routing options, to ease congestion at Piccadilly and to allow Manchester Victoria to assume an enhanced role’. Overall, Mr McLoughlin said the scheme will provide ‘very substantial public benefits’ at both local and regional level, and that these benefits outweigh the ‘substantial harm to heritage assets that would result’.