Improved service frequency to be gradually introduced on Metrolink

Services on Manchester Metrolink’s busiest lines are set to run to increased frequencies over the next few weeks as more staff start to become available to guarantee extra trams running. The increased frequencies will initially be introduced on the Altrincham and Bury lines before the East Didsbury and MediaCityUK lines see extra trams in the coming weeks.

Reduced services have been running on the Metrolink network since Friday 6th August with a large number of staff being absent from work as a result of Covid. This saw a blanket 12 minute service introduced on all lines with the intermediate services which give sections an improved service frequency being withdrawn. It was always the intention that extra services would be reintroduced from around September to coincide with the return to school and work, as long as staff numbers allowed. There does remain some staff absence but it is an improving picture so it will be possible for more trams to run once more.

As from Tuesday 31st August a six minute service was reintroduced on the Bury and Altrincham lines at peak times. This means there are trams running every six minutes between 0700 and 2000 Monday to Saturday.

The East Didsbury to Shaw & Crompton service will be reintroduced on Monday 6th September with the MediaCityUK to Etihad Campus service reintroduced in the coming weeks, subject to staff availability.

Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: “The temporary service change was needed because of very high levels of covid-related staff absences – and I’d like to thank everyone for their understanding and for bearing with us during this extremely challenging period. While staff absences remain high, it is an improving picture, and we are now gearing up to reintroduce more frequent services across the network. This will be done in a phased approach ahead of the new school year, as more workplaces welcome staff back and we all start to get back to doing the things we love with family and friends. We will continue to use all available trams to target the areas where demand is highest, and I’d encourage people to still check before they travel and plan their journeys in advance.”

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