Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network is due to expand even further after plans for a new £350 million tram line through Trafford Park were given the go ahead.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has granted Transport for Greater Manchester legal powers to construct the new 3.4 mile line which will allow work to start this winter.
TfGM, which owns the Metrolink network, has developed plans for the Trafford Park line and will soon appoint a contractor.
Once in operation in 2020/2021, the line will offer a major public transport boost for the region, and will offer fast, frequent transport links for thousands of workers.
The new Trafford Park line will branch off from the existing Pomona stop and call at six new tram stops. Among these new stops is Wharfside, situated close to Old Trafford football stadium, the Imperial War Museum, key business areas through the industrial park and visitor destinations such as Eventcity and the intu Trafford Centre.
The £350 million funding package to construct the line has already been secured by Greater Manchester Combined Authority through the ‘earn back’ funding agreement as part of the Greater Manchester devolution deal.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Tony Lloyd, welcomed the news, commenting: “Today’s announcement is another big step forward for Greater Manchester. I’m delighted that our long held ambition to build a new Metrolink line through Trafford Park is now about to become a reality.
“This new line will boost our economy and bring us closer to our goal of a world class transport system for Greater Manchester. I look forward to seeing the first shovel in the ground this winter.”
Meanwhile, bosses at RATP Dev UK, which has operated the trams for Transport for Greater Manchester for the last five years, have their sights set on running the city’s buses.
RATP, one of the five largest transport companies in the world, already runs 12% of London’s 8,600 buses for TFL, along with 4,500 buses in Paris.