It’s been a normal couple of weeks for Manchester Metrolink with the dreaded car v Metrolink rearing its ugly head once again. The standard cars driving onto tracks and cars colliding with trams incident have once again been taking place with a collision in Audenshaw whilst cars have driven onto the tracks at Piccadilly Undercroft and also at Victoria – the latter seeing an elderly driver apparently get distracted by a group of women!
The run of bad luck started in the early hours of Sunday 3rd July and saw a car drive into Piccadilly Undercroft before becoming stuck alongside the platform. However in this case it doesn’t appear that it was down to alleged poor signage but more the fact that the driver was being followed by the Police and seemed to think it was a good way to escape – obviously not! Fortunately the incident occurred at 0300 so no trams were delayed with the car – a Volkswagen Golf GTI for those who are interested – removed before services began.
On Wednesday 6th July the service was suspended on the East Didsbury line after a cyclist was knocked off her bike whilst crossing the tracks. It is understood that the rear wheel was clipped shortly before 1830 which caused the woman to fall off her bike. She suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene and whilst this took place a replacement bus service was introduced.
Friday 8th July saw a car collide with a tram on Manchester Road close to the stop at Audenshaw. The car involved was apparently a white Toyota IQ and also saw some traffic lights knocked to the ground. It is believed no-one was injured in the collision but Metrolink services were suspended whilst the incident was cleared.
Then in the early hours of Sunday 10th July a 92 year old man found his way onto the tracks at Victoria. The incident happened at around 0130 and caused limited disruption to Metrolink services but the Greater Manchester Police had to drag the vehicle off the tracks. And the reason for the man driving onto the tracks? Well according to local reports he told Police that he had been distracted by a group of young ladies!
It hasn’t only been cars on tracks which have caused delays for Metrolink in recent weeks though. On Monday 11th July an overnight service upgrade overran which meant that services were unable to run across the network. Limited services were able to run from Bury to Bowker Vale and from Firswood to the Airport until 0700 with a full service – with delays – commencing over the next 15-20 minutes. A spokesperson from Metrolink said: “A signalling systems issue prevented Metrolink services from launching on time this morning, Monday 11 July. A planned overnight network-wide IT system upgrade over-ran, which meant services launched late, at around 6.30am, but this will lead to delays over the morning peak. PAs at stops and the Passenger Information Displays were also affected, which meant customers could not be updated directly.”