Ordsall and capacity
Network Rail “today welcomed a judge’s decision to dismiss a legal challenge to the process by which permission was granted for a much-needed railway improvement in central Manchester”.
[Ordsall Chord judgment good news for rail customers, Network Rail, Wednesday 14 Oct 2015]
The Ordsall Chord is part of £1bn+ of improvements across the north of England included in Network Rail’s ‘Railway Upgrade Plan’.
By linking Manchester’s three main railway stations – Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road – the Ordsall Chord will improve capacity and enable faster, more frequent services between towns and cities across the north, as well as the creation of new direct routes to the city’s airport.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We welcome this decision as the Ordsall Chord forms a key part of our Railway Upgrade Plan for the north of England. More than £1bn is being invested to provide passengers with better services and we plan to start work on the Ordsall Chord as soon as possible.”
Today’s judgment was handed down by Mrs Justice Lang in the Planning Court in London. She dismissed all three claims made by Mark Whitby: two statutory challenges of the Transport and Works Act order, one of the Listed Building Consent and a judicial review of the planning permission. Mrs Justice Lang also refused permission for Mr Whitby to appeal.
The Ordsall Chord will support the delivery of:
* Two new fast trains per hour between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool
* Six fast trains an hour between Leeds and Manchester
* A new direct service through Manchester city centre to Manchester Airport
* Faster journey times to Hull, Newcastle and the North East
The chord would certainly facilitate a through service from Manchester Victoria to Manchester Airport. What is less clear, is exactly how it would “improve capacity and enable faster, more frequent services between towns and cities across the north”.