Ordsall Chord Manchester

Network Rail will go ahead with the construction of the £85m Ordsall Chord rail link in Manchester, England, after a judge dismissed a legal challenge to the project.

Ordsall Chord involves the linking of Manchester’s three main railway stations Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road through a bridge.

The project is a major component of the £600m Northern Hub programme, which will allow operation of 700 more trains a day in northern England.

It is a part of £1bn improvements planned by Network Rail across the north of England under the Railway Upgrade Plan.

The project was challenged by former president of the Institute of Civil Engineers Mark Whitby on two statutory grounds of the Transport and Works Act order, one of the Listed Building Consent and a judicial review of the planning permission.

All the three claims were dismissed by Justice Lang in the Planning Court in London.

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"We welcome this decision as the Ordsall Chord forms a key part of our Railway Upgrade Plan for the north of England."

Network Rail said the Ordsall Chord will support two new fast trains per hour between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool, six fast trains an hour between Leeds and Manchester, and a new direct service through Manchester city centre to Manchester Airport. It will also provide faster journey times to Hull, Newcastle and the North East.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We welcome this decision as the Ordsall Chord forms a key part of our Railway Upgrade Plan for the north of England.

"More than £1bn is being invested to provide passengers with better services and we plan to start work on the Ordsall Chord as soon as possible."

The project was initially planned to be started in September and completed in 2016. It is now expected to be completed in 2017.

Image: The Ordsall Chord project is expected to be completed in 2017. Photo: courteys of Network Rail