Ashton Conservatives have been fighting plans to call the new bus station ‘Tameside Interchange’ after Labour councillors ruled out naming it after the town it is in.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) recently held a consultation over the new bus station being built in Ashton. Part of that consultation was over the new name. At the District Assembly at the end of September all Ashton councillors voted that it should be named Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange. However, the Council Leadership, under Cllr. Kieran Quinn, over-ruled the District Assembly and submitted the name ‘Tameside Interchange’ as the Council’s option.
At the Ashton District Assembly this week, Hurst Conservative Cllr. Paul Buckley was extremely disappointed that the decision of the DA had been overturned by the Council’s Labour Cabinet. “For the Labour leadership at the Town Hall to have totally disregarded the views and wishes of the Ashton Councillors shows that Labour simply do not care about our town or its heritage".
“It is clear that locals think the new bus station should have the name of the town in the title. We would be a laughing stock if we dropped Ashton from the title. It would cause confusion to visitors and be a hindrance in attracting people to the town’s great market and shopping centre".
“I also queried the minutes of the previous DA, as they didn’t reflect what had truly happened at the previous meeting. It is unprecedented in my time as Councillor to have the minutes rejected and not signed off as a true reflection. The Labour leadership might want to lose the name of the town, but I am a proud Ashtonian and I will continue to fight for our town".
Hurst Conservative community campaigner, Liam Billington, asked a question at the District Assembly about why the Ashton DA didn’t have the final say over what the name of the bus station would be. Liam said after the meeting, “This is just the latest example in a long list of Labour’s total disregard for the wishes of local people. Our heritage is under attack by this decision".
“Tameside has a rich heritage of nine towns, with individual identities. For Labour to try and homogenise everyone into a corporate Tameside view will just not work. I’ll continue to work with Ashton Councillor, Paul Buckley, to fight for the interests of local Ashton residents and name the new bus station after the town".
Under questioning from several members of the public it was revealed that the Labour councillors on the Cabinet wanted to call it ‘Tameside Interchange’, though no reason was given. One member of the public had questioned whether Cllr Travis, who is on the cabinet and is an Ashton Councillor for Waterloo, had really stood up for Ashton, as she doesn’t even live in the town.
It was also revealed that there are plans by the the Labour Council Cabinet to rename Hyde and Stalybridge bus stations. The three bus stations in Tameside would, in future, be called Tameside Interchange #1, #2 and #3 – causing even more confusion.
We will keep you updated on any developments as we get them.