Over £20 million to be invested in Metrolink improvements

The Bee Network Committee has approved £21.4 million worth of funding to be invested into improving the Manchester Metrolink network. The cash – which comes from the government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) – will help to ensure that the network continues to keep on delivering safe, reliable and accessible services for millions more people in the future.

This money will be invested over the next 12 months and will, inevitably, lead to some line closures of the network to allow infrastructure works to take place. The funding will not stop there either as it is planned that £147 million will be allocated to Metrolink improvements between now and 2027.

This summer will see immediate priorities taken care of:

  • Track replacement in Manchester City Centre, including Piccadilly Gardens and London Road
  • Track replacement on parts of the Altrincham and Bury lines
  • Modifications to the trams including installing state of the art systems to keep passengers safe. These includes sensors in the middle of double trams and speed warning devices.
  • New electrical substations being added on the Bury line to allow more double trams to run in the future
  • Replacement of the communications network
  • TfGM are also looking into replacement of overhead lines on older parts of the network including the Bury line following issues in 2023

Danny Vaughan, TfGM Head of Metrolink, said: “Metrolink is an integral part of the Bee Network, and it’s really important that we invest in it so that we can continue to provide a safe, reliable and positive experience for the thousands of people who travel with us every day.

“This is a coordinated package of planned works to maintain, renew and improve the network and help to keep Greater Manchester moving, and while we understand any disruption can be frustrating, we’ll be doing everything we can to keep it to a minimum.

“We will make sure passengers know what’s happening well in advance and I’d ask people to please bear with us while the works are carried out, as the benefits will be there to be enjoyed for years to come.”

So far, the following closures have been announced for this year with more to come:

  • Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th March – Ashton line closed between Ashton and Piccadilly to allow rail repair work at Clayton Hall and Audenshaw and essential maintenance work on Alan Turing Way. Replacement buses to run Piccadilly-Ashton. Eccles line services to terminate at Cornbrook.
  • Sunday 21st April – Oldham and Rochdale line closed between Rochdale Town Centre and Freehold. During this closure rail repairs will be taking place at Westwood, Union Street and King Street. Bus replacement from Rochdale Town Centre to Freehold.

Further works for the rest of this year (and for future years) are yet to be publicly confirmed.

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