Extra floors could be added to the car parks at Radcliffe and Whitefield Metrolink stations, creating 239 new spaces in total.

Proposals submitted to Bury Council by the Millson Group, on behalf of Transport for Greater Manchester, detail how an additional 115 spaces would be created in Radcliffe, with 124 new car parking spots planned in Whitefield.

Both stations would require an additional deck to be built, while the bus turning area at Whitefield would also have to be altered. The proposals also include the potential for six electric vehicle charging points at both car parks, with none currently at either site.

The Whitefield Metrolink car park opened in 2004 with 127 spaces. Demand has been high since and it has been "significantly oversubscribed" over the years, according to the planning statement.

A first floor was added in 2013 to help alleviate the situation, increasing the number of spaces to 209, but demand has since risen even more and local residents have complained about commuters parking on their streets.

Computer-generated-image of how Whitefield Metrolink station could look with the new car park deck

"The additional spaces will help to alleviate concerns from nearby residents regarding increased on street parking," the planning statement reads.

Demand has also been high at Radcliffe Metrolink station with the planning statement claiming that: "demand for parking is exceeding on-site provision resulting in vehicles parking on the surrounding highway network." If approved, Radcliffe would have 478 car parking spots in total.

According to research by Essential Living, Radcliffe and Whitefield were the fifth and sixth busiest Metrolink stops for commuters travelling into Manchester city centre prior to the coronavirus pandemic. On average, around 5,500 and 4,500 daily passengers boarded trams towards Manchester from the stations respectively.

Since social distancing measures were introduced, trams have been running at around 10pc capacity

Councillor Rhyse Cathcart, Bury Council's lead on Radcliffe regeneration, has some concerns with the proposals.

He said: "I think it will be met with mixed opinions but overall that it will be probably be seen as something that will cause more congestion in the town centre. For local people it's not particularly useful in a spot where it can already take 30 to 40 minutes to get through in a morning. It can be a complete gridlock.

"In terms of how it impacts on the local community and residential parking we are currently in the process of installing parking around Church Street East, Bridgefield Street, Barlow Street, which is to combat street parking from commuters.

"Whilst I'm not necessarily elated about this, I do understand that we do need a solution and at the moment the roads are quieter so in terms of the timing of it, I suppose there could be less impact on people in the local community.

"I will potentially be objecting against certain aspects though as I would like it to be considered within the wider regeneration framework."