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Go-ahead for major Manchester tram network extension

Published: Thursday, 20th October 2016

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has granted legal powers to further expand the Metrolink network with a new £350m tram line, running 5.5 kilometres through Trafford Park…

Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network is set to expand further now proposals for a new £350m tram line through Trafford Park have been given the go-ahead.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has granted Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) legal powers to build the new 5.5 kilometre line under a Transport and Works Act Order. That means work could start on the project this winter and be operational by 2020/2021.

TfGM, which owns the Metrolink network, has developed plans for the Trafford Park line and will shortly appoint a contractor.

Trafford Park itself is the largest major employment zone in Greater Manchester outside the city centre and is home to over 1,300 businesses and more than 33,000 jobs.

The new Trafford Park line, which will increase the size of the Metrolink network to more than 106.5km served by 99 stops, will branch off from the existing Pomona stop and call at six new tram stops at key destinations.

The majority of the new route is not on roads to ensure faster, more reliable journey times. The £350m funding package for the project has already been secured by the combined authority as part of the Greater Manchester devolution deal.

Metrolink has tripled in size in recent years as part of a £1.5bn expansion, making it the largest light rail network in the UK.

Read the decision letter.

Roger Milne