Manchester Metrolink to grow again

TWO further extensions to Manchester Metrolink have been authorised by the DfT, and talks are underway on the construction of another new line which would bring trams to Manchester Airport.

Transport Minister Sadiq Khan has announced the approval of plans to extend Metrolink from Droylsden to Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside and from Chorlton to East Didsbury in South Manchester. Work on four other extensions is already under way. These will serve MediaCityUK at Salford Quays, Chorlton, Droylsden and the former heavy rail line through Oldham Mumps to Rochdale station.

New trams

A further eight trams will be ordered, six of which will be funded by the DfT, and these are in addition to forty new tramcars which are already being added to the fleet.

Funding has also been provided for two new Park and Ride sites at Ashton Moss and Ashton West which will be able to accommodate more 600 cars between them.

Airport line

But there could be still more developments to come. Work is also about to start on the detailed planning of a proposed extension from the East Didsbury line which would branch off at St Werburgh’s Road and run to the airport via Wythenshawe, following the approval of an initial budget of £26 million by the Capital Projects committee of Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority.

Councillor Richard Knowles, who chairs the committee, said: “We are delighted to see that such a strong start is to be made this year on the Metrolink line to Manchester Airport. This is a very important stage which involves developing the designs in further detail. We will be doing detailed work on the scope and programme for diverting utilities such as electrical cables and pipes. Extensive topographic, geotechnical and environmental surveys will also take place.”

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