Coronation Street object to Metrolink extension

In 2010 several residents of Coronation Street tragically died when a Metrolink tram came off the viaduct in a major disaster for the 50th anniversary of the soap. And now five years on Coronation Street and Metrolink are set to clash again with the ITV soap objecting to the plans for the Trafford Centre extension as they feel the current route would severely disrupt filming at their new set in Salford Quays.

ITV bosses have said that when they relocated filming of Coronation Street to the new set they had no idea how close trams would be running and would prefer it if the route returned to its original planned route avoiding the quay front. ITV commissioned their own tests and discovered that noise and vibrations from the trams as they round a curve would cause major sound issues for filming. There are also fears that a nearby tramstop at Imperial War Museum North would cause further sound issues with the regular service announcements a concern for sound quality during the filming.

An ITV spokesman said: “We were obviously unaware of plans for the newly proposed tram route when we made the decision to move to Trafford and, having carried out our own tests, we have serious concerns about its impact on production of Coronation Street. We are in discussions with Transport for Greater Manchester to explore what mitigation it can offer to ensure we are able to continue filming Coronation Street uninterrupted. If there are no acceptable solutions, we have called for a return to the original route which we believe achieves the same transport objectives and has no impact on our production.”

A public inquiry is due to take place in July over the plans for the line – which it is hoped will open in 2019 – and ITV have said if no agreement can be reached (which presumably means if they don’t get the line moved away from their set) they will give evidence against the line.

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11 Responses to Coronation Street object to Metrolink extension

  1. Richard Ernill says:

    Perhaps with real trams around the sounds of their bogeys going over a rail joint will be more believable than the wrong beat of the ones used on Corrie up to now!

  2. Nigel Pennick says:

    After the closure of part of Blackpool tramway by video-makers who believe their work is more important than the smooth operation of everyday life, now another video company is complaining that reality is impinging on their fantasy. Certain elements in the mass media seem to think that reality must come second place to their work, and ride rough-shod over the needs of local people in their day-to-day lives. If the new tramway is diverted or cancelled just for a TV show, it will demonstrate that the power of the media is more important than the needs of the life of the city. The irony that Coronation Street is supposed to be a representation of everyday reality in working-class Manchester, while in reality it presents a distorted fantasy, will not be lost on people who need good public transport rather than pictures on screens.

    • Ken Walker says:

      Distorted fantasy seems to describe most of their programmes – including the news sometimes. Did they really not know about the extension when they decided to move to Media City, and didn’t bother to do any research into planned developments that might affect them, or did they just assume that they would use their influence to block anything that got in their way? And what are these ‘regular service announcements’ that they are talking about? The only announcements I hear are occasional ones about service alterations, all the everyday info that people need being displayed on the screens. Hopefully if ITV want to stage any tramway mishaps in future Metrolink will object on the grounds of potential damage to their reputation, considering that a lot of Coronation Street viewers, like the management so it seems, show themselves as being unable to separate fact from fiction.

      • Steve Hyde says:

        Although I am no fan of TV, in Granada’s defence Ken, the route has changed since they planned the move to their new studio. The route along Trafford Wharf Road and onto Warren Bruce Road with its sharp turn may be the reason for their concern. The original route along what was Trafford Park Road (now Wharfside Way) would have been much further away from the studios. Often these objections are more a case of drawing attention to a potential problem so that some solution agreeable to all parties can be obtained.

  3. Michael says:

    As Metrolink is supposed to operate near to Coronation Street anyway, surely the sound of actual trams should be a realistic addition to the background sounds of outside shots.

    • Ken Walker says:

      Yes, but they only want the tram sounds for the opening credits! It’s strange that in so many programmes there are people talking in noisy environments but the microphones don’t pick the sound up, or wind noise for that matter. Perhaps after the expense of moving to Media City ITV haven’t got any money left to invest in decent sound equipment.

  4. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    Well if ITV had never heard of the plans to extend Metrolink to the Trafford Centre then they must be totally wrapped up in their own fantasy world because nearly everybody else appeared to be aware.

    • Steve Hyde says:

      As mentioned above Ralph, the route changed after Granada planned their move to the new studio site.

  5. David Butterworth says:

    I don’t believe it! How can a TV soap and the envisaged problems in filming be an obstruction to building the new line, which will benefit hundreds?

  6. tram man says:

    David,it won’t benefit hundreds,it will benefit thousands.The Trafford centre line will be a licence to print money.Every tram in and out will be packed all day long.Just as a matter of interest why did T.F.G.M change the route from the original plans.Is it a cost cutting exercise or is it a result of public demand.