A nine month project to completely redesign and expand Manchester Victoria Metrolink stop will start on Friday 21st February it has been confirmed. The work will see additional platforms provided to accommodate the new Second City Crossing (2CC) and will mean that the stop is closed completely to all services with passengers advised to use Shudehill instead with there also be changes to services being provided.
From Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd February no trams at all will run through Victoria with services running Bury-Abraham Moss and Rochdale Railway Station-Central Park only – replacement buses will be provided into Manchester city centre. During this period all services from Altrincham and East Didsbury will run into Piccadilly whilst services on the Eccles line will run all the way through to East Didsbury (via MediaCityUK). This three day period will presumably see preparations being made for services operating over the remaining nine months of the project.
From Monday 24th February trams will be able to run through Victoria but they will be doing so on a single line of track which means less services than normal are able to operate in the area. As a result a revised service will be in operation for the nine months of the project (think of it as a pregnancy; there may be times when you wish it wasn’t happening but in the end you will be glad that it did!)
Services will run as follows:
* Bury-Altrincham direct: every service will be a double tram from the start to end of service
* Bury-Abraham Moss: every 12 minutes. Passengers travelling between these stops are asked to use this shuttle service rather than the through service to try and aid capacity in the peaks.
* Ashton-under-Lyne-Eccles: every 12 minutes.
* Rochdale-East Didsbury: every 12 minutes but not calling at Victoria
* Altrincham-Piccadilly: no change
* MediaCityUK-Piccadilly: no change
Peter Cushing, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, said: “The Victoria project is incredibly exciting, it complements the wider transformation of the station but also plays an essential part of Metrolink’s Second City Crossing development and on-going expansion of the network. To ensure this is done in a safe manner, we have to run on a single line of track. Currently, 15 trams an hour call at Victoria in each direction – that’s 30 overall, which simply cannot be sustained when we’re running on just a single line. So we’re temporarily closing the stop and asking people to use the nearby Shudehill stop instead. We’re also making changes to services on the Bury line, which will be supported by running double trams on every service from Bury to Altrincham via the city. We’ve considered these changes very carefully and they will provide customers with the most effective, safest and least disruptive option. They also mirror demand we’ve monitored on the network.”