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Moving Manchester on Mixcloud


Today’s edition of Making Manchester was broadcast by ALL FM 96.9 as scheduled, and an extended cut of the programme is now on Mixcloud.

Moving Manchester: Planes, trams and smart motorways tells the stories of Manchester’s biggest current transport infrastructure projects: Manchester Airport’s expansion (based on an interview with MAG’s Director of Planning John Twigg), Manchester Smart Motorways (based on an interview with MSM’s Project Director Dave Emery) and Metrolink’s expansion (based on interviews with Cllr Andrew Fender of Manchester City Council and Peter Cushing, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director).

Next week’s Making Manchester will be the first of a two-part programme called Theatres of Dreams: The civil engineering behind a great sporting city.


The Metrolink story

Ahead of our next programme Moving Manchester: Trams, planes and smart motorways, here’s a short video featuring clips from the interviews in the programme.

Cllr Andrew Fender of Manchester City Council was involved with Metrolink from its inception in the 1980s, and recounts for us the saga of transforming Metrolink from a drawing-board idea to being the UK’s biggest tram network.

Peter Cushing, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director, tells us about some of the engineering challenges faced in putting the system’s current seven lines and 93 stops into place over a twenty-year period.

The short video gives a flavour of the longer story in the ALL FM radio programme.

Thanks to Manchester String Quartet and Glucose Records for their kind permission to use their “Happy” in this video and others in the series.


Series resumes 5 September

DSC00871The Making Manchester radio series is set to resume on ALL FM 96.9 from Monday 5 September¬† with a programme called Moving Manchester: Trams, planes and smart motorways. The programme will look at Greater Manchester’s three biggest ongoing transport infrastructure projects.

Since our last programme, Manchester Airport has become the first UK airport to operate direct, scheduled flights from anywhere outside London to mainland China. Meanwhile work has continued on the Manchester Smart Motorways project, and Transport for Greater Manchester has forged ahead with Metrolink’s Second City Crossing, with the new St Peter’s Square stop due to open at the end of August.

So Moving Manchester will recount the history of Manchester Airport from the early days of grass airstrips and airport facilities converted from barns and farmhouses, with a look at the airport’s future development based on an interview with John Twigg (pictured), Planning Director of Manchester Airports Group which now owns three other airports around England.

Next we’ll visit Manchester Smart Motorways and find out from project manager David Emery just what is a smart motorway, how does it work, and what are the challenges involved in making one of the UK’s busiest roads smart while it’s still carrying all that traffic.

And we’ll be discussing how Greater Manchester was given a brand-new tramway network in the space of 20 years – a story of the single-minded determination of local politicians in the face of all obstacles, and of the everyday ingenuity of civil engineers in converting railways, building bridges and driving tramways through busy town centres to create the UK’s biggest new tram network. In the programme we’ll hear from Cllr Andrew Fender, Manchester City Council’s transport portfolio holder who has steered Metrolink’s development from its inception, and Peter Cushing, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director, on the civil engineering challenges.

As usual, the programme will air first on ALL FM 96.9 and 0900-1000 on the Monday morning (5 September), and the recording will be available thereafter on Mixcloud.

And in the meantime…

Following a break, Making Manchester is scheduled to resume in the summer. The next programme – Moving Manchester: Planes, trams and smart motorways – will look at the ongoing development of Manchester Airport and the Airport City project; the continuing expansion of Metrolink, which now serves seven of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs; and the Manchester Smart Motorways project.

In the meantime the Institution of Civil Engineers has today published this new video – screened for the first time last night at the ICE North West Annual Awards dinner in Carlisle – which has a quick look at some of the projects featured in the Making Manchester series, as well as others from around North West England.

The video’s called Civil engineering in North West England: Some of the jewels in the crown. Those jewels include Manchester Victoria Station’s ¬£44m redevelopment, which at last night’s ICE Awards swept away the coveted Large Project Award.

The video also has a brief look at the Mersey Gateway Bridge, mentioned in The seaport 40 miles from the sea, and the Metrolink and Manchester Smart Motorways projects which will feature in the next Making Manchester programme.

Enjoy the video, and watch this space for the date of Making Manchester‘s return.

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