EXTRA parking decks are to be built at both Radcliffe and Whitefield Metrolink stations meaning an increase capacity for more than 250 vehicles.

Councillors approved the extensions despite concerns from Radcliffe residents about the increase in traffic caused by commuters travelling into the town to park and ride.

The Radcliffe scheme will mean a second deck built on top of the existing structure.

This will provide 120 extra spaces bringing the overall capacity up to 480 spaces.

The similar extension to the car park at Whitefield will create a second deck for 123 spaces meaning the total number of spaces would increase to 333.

The Whitefield development will also see alterations to the drop off area, bus turning area and bus stop at the station.

The direction of one-way traffic to the car park would be changed to flow clockwise.

New parking spaces would be created near the turning circle which would require some tree removal.

The planning meeting heard from Karen Pitt, who opposed the Radcliffe plans

She said: “Radcliffe has already had 122 spaces added. Why Radcliffe again, not others?

“If this is passed Radcliffe will be the largest park and ride on the network.

“How can TfGM find it justifiable to put their largest car park in a residential area and on a single flow minor road?

“The site is directly opposite the leisure centre and the site for the proposed school all this traffic is filtering off Spring Lane.”

Cllr Mike Smith also objected to the plans, saying that the application did not take account of an outline planning for 400 nearby houses and a proposed academy school for 600 pupils.

He added that the adverse effects of the extended car park would outweigh any benefits.

Caroline Bentley from TfGM, said: “We need world-class connections this supports our ambitions.

“We recognise that Bury Council has ambitions and  plans for the regeneration of Radcliffe and this proposal recognises that.”

The stations will stay open throughout the construction work.

TfGM says that the development of Radcliffe and Whitefield are the first in a number of expansions being explored for park and ride schemes.

Representatives of the Radcliffe First Party asked questions of the developments, which include concerns about emissions and that the extra parking would be in a residential area.

The planning committee approved the Radcliffe plan by a majority of eight to three. The Whitefield proposal was passed unanimously.