Manchester Metrolink Contract Awarded

GREATER Manchester Passenger Transport authority has appointed M-Pact Thales to design, build and maintain new lines in a £575m project set to double the size of Manchester’s Metrolink with almost 20 extra miles and 26 new stops from 2011.

New lines to Chorlton, South Manchester are planned for spring 2011, to Oldham Mumps the following autumn and to Rochdale and Droylsden in Tameside by spring 2012.

Following Department for Transport’s final approval last month, construction work is due to start early next year, and Metrolink could see further expansion if £3bn funding from the Government’s Transport Innovation fund and a loan supported by peak-time congestion charging is forthcoming.

New extensions to Ashton-under-Lyne, East Didsbury, Manchester Airport and Oldham and Rochdale town centres would almost triple the network to 64 miles, with expected passenger journeys of up to 70 million each year.

GMPTE’s Metrolink director Philip Purdy said: “Residents and businesses across Greater Manchester have been hugely supportive of the Metrolink expansion, and I’m pleased we’ve now been able to appoint a company to carry out the work. M-Pact Thales has a vast amount of experience of work on tram systems throughout the UK and will work closely with our people and our delivery partner Parsons Brinckerhoff.”

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