Manchester Metrolink expansion plans pick up the pace

The renewable energy-fuelled system is set to introduce three new routes across Greater Manchester, increasing the coverage of Britain’s largest light rail network.

Late last week, the metro area Mayor Andy Burnham announced new extensions to the existing eight lines and 99 stops, with residents in Middleton, Heywood, and Stockport set to be connected. 

Speaking outside the newly completed Stockport Interchange, a transport hub with rooftop park and greening, as shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves visited the town ahead of next week’s General Election, the Greater Manchester leader confirmed an appraisal had now been completed. 

‘That work is done and we will be publishing that as soon as we can after the election,’ Burnham told the Local Democracy Reporting Service. ‘Obviously, it relates to how we will bring Metrolink to this place behind me, and our ambitions to go north with potentially a tram-train option serving Atom Valley — Middleton, Heywood, Bury — and other schemes as well. We will bring that work forward very quickly.’

Manchester’s Metrolink already claims 36million passenger journeys each year, roughly ten times the population of the city region itself, and is the UK’s biggest and most successful tram system. Powered entirely by clean energy, the system is an integral part of local and regional transport, and will contribute towards the goal of running a carbon neutral public transport system. Earlier this year, Greater Manchester became the first authority outside London to gain full control over its buses following years of privatisation, meaning the council can now set fares, routes, frequency and timetables, and, crucially, specifications for the fleet. 

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Image: Metrolink



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