The MP for Stockport has tabled a motion in parliament calling on Network Rail to restore the town’s historic viaduct.

Navendu Mishra, MP for Stockport, Greater Manchester, tabled an Early Day Motion in parliament calling for the company to finance £20 million worth of maintenance and repair works to restore the viaduct to its former glory.

The motion, signed by 12 other MPs, first called for the House of Commons to recognise the viaduct’s cultural significance of the town and to pay tribute to the feat of engineering of John Lowe and architecture of George Watson Buck.

An Early Day Motion is a mechanism used by MPs to highlight local issues that are important to constituents and calls for a formal debate.

It says: “That this House acknowledges Stockport Viaduct’s heritage status as a Grade II*-listed structure, its amenity value and cultural significance for all those that live, work and visit the town.

“It recognises its importance as part of a main artery connecting the North with the South and as a vital link in the plans to create an integrated, modern and accessible public transport system across Greater Manchester.

“And calls on Network Rail to finance the extensive cleaning and maintenance that is long overdue to restore the viaduct to its former glory and ensure that it is able to be enjoyed for generations to come.”

The viaduct was last properly spruced up 30 years ago – at the cost of about £3m.

And with Stockport town centre undergoing a £1bn regeneration, campaigners have been pushing for something to be done about its dilapidated state.

Navendu Mishra said that like all Stopfordians he was proud of the viaduct and its cultural significance at the heart of the community.

He said: “It’s an impressive landmark and continues to be a draw almost two centuries after it was first constructed.

“That’s why, in my maiden speech in Parliament last year, I paid tribute to its enduring legacy.

“Unfortunately though, it’s faced years of neglect and it’s now high time that Network Rail gave it the respect it deserves as a Grade II*-listed monument and funds the full £20m that’s required for its cleaning and restoration.

“That’s why I’ve tabled a parliamentary motion and will be continuing to encourage fellow MPs to support it.”

Last week Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne, tabled a series of questions to transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris.

In his latest response Mr Harris confirmed £1m put aside by Network Rail was ‘specifically for the upkeep of Stockport rail viaduct, including brick repair, de-vegetation work and maintenance of rainwater goods [pipework and guttering]’ – not other projects.

The news has been welcomed by Mr Gwynne, who described the viaduct as a ‘critical piece of national infrastructure’.

But Mr Mishra welcomed the announcement of the £1 million set aside by Network Rail but is pushing for the full £20 million to restore the viaduct after 30 years of neglect.

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Photo credit: Stockport Express

Stockport Viaduct. *credit: Stockport Express
Stockport Viaduct. *credit: Stockport Express
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