Transport leaders and local councillors celebrated the first anniversary of the opening of Wythenshawe Interchange this week.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) delivered the £6m facility, which opened to the public on 29 July 2015.
Since then, it has proven to be a key gateway into Wythenshawe town centre, providing excellent facilities and links between bus and Metrolink services.
Local councillors attending the celebratory event included Sarah Judge and Tommy Judge. They witnessed the unveiling of a new plaque, which acknowledges local community groups’ input to a piece of public art at the interchange.
TfGM’s aim is to create stimulating travel environments that reflect the local area. Dashyline, a contemporary design company, consulted with Shawe Thing and Grand Day Out to design the artwork, a tree sculpture, which captures the experiences of people living in Wythenshawe from the 1930s to the present day. The sculpture features ‘Growth Rings’ detailing the growth of the ‘Garden City’ over the decades.
A plaque was unveiled at the interchange in 2015 in memory of the former MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Paul Goggins, who died in January 2014 after collapsing while out running. He was a key figure in the area and had a career-long commitment to helping others.
Commenting on the success of the interchange, Jeff Jackson, of St Modwen Properties PLC, who manages Wythenshawe town centre, said: “Wythenshawe town centre has benefited greatly from the interchange – it has created a better, brighter travel environment.
“There are 75,000 people living in Wythenshawe and we are expecting footfall to rise by more than 100,000 to 6.5 million this year, which is phenomenal. There’s no doubt that the new interchange and the improved Metrolink connections have driven footfall.”
The Gift Doctor, an independent gift shop in Haletop West, provided balloons to mark the occasion. Kathy, the store owner, said: “Many of our customers use the interchange – since its opening in 2015, it is far easier to travel to and from Wythenshawe.”
A recent customer feedback report by TfGM shows a significant increase in satisfaction with the state-of-the-art interchange in comparison to the old Wythenshawe bus station, rising from 65% to 97%. The facility was commended by customers for being clean, providing protection from the weather, and for being safe and secure.
For passengers, the interchange offers a range of improved services, such as modern, fully-covered waiting areas, better information and ticketing facilities, a safer, more secure waiting environment and greater accessibility. It also has a TfGM Travelshop providing tickets and information, a highly visible centralised bus supervisor’s office, and cycle parking.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Wythenshawe Interchange is an important architectural landmark for the area and a superb gateway to a rejuvenated Wythenshawe town centre, providing public transport links to jobs, education and leisure.
“It’s great to celebrate the interchange’s first anniversary and to hear that residents and businesses alike are benefiting from it.”
Mike Kane, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, attended the celebrations and spoke at the event. He said: “The interchange supports the wider regeneration of Wythenshawe town centre. This is a very exciting time for the area and the interchange is an important aspect of the improvements we expect to achieve over the coming years.”