Ordsall Chord legal challenge dismissed: Ordsall Chord - Manchester - 1

Wednesday 23 Mar 2016

Ordsall Chord legal challenge dismissed

Region & Route:
| North West & Central

Network Rail today welcomed the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss a legal challenge to the process by which permission was granted for a much-needed railway improvement in central Manchester.

The Ordsall Chord is part of a vast programme 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. As part of the wider work in the north, it will help support the delivery of faster, more frequent services between towns and cities across the region.


Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “We welcome this decision which will allow us to continue to implement the Ordsall Chord Order. The Ordsall Chord is an essential part of the Northern Programme and once built, will help remove congestion from Manchester Piccadilly.  This will help create space for hundreds more trains to operate through the city each day.


“The new viaduct will provide many benefits to not only the population of Greater Manchester but the whole of the north of England.


“Vast improvements within transport networks go hand in hand with boosting the economy both locally and nationally.  There will be improved connectivity between the great cities of the north, helping boost the economy, prosperity and create jobs across the region.”


Today’s decision was given by Simon LJ (sitting with Lindblom and Hamblen LJJ) in the Court of Appeal in London.  The Court dismissed all three appeals made by Mark Whitby against the decision of Lang J in the Planning Court: two statutory challenges of the Transport and Works Act order and of the Listed Building Consent, and a judicial review of the planning permission.  The Court of Appeal will hand down its judgement early in the new term, after Easter.


As part of the wider North of England Programme, the Ordsall Chord will help 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


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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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