The 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 www.allfm.org. 0900-1000 on the Monday morning (5 September), and the recording will be available thereafter on Mixcloud.