Metrolink reveal plans for St Peter’s Square stop transformation

It has been confirmed that Manchester Metrolink services which normally run through St Peter’s Square are to be significantly altered from the summer due to the major transformation work due to take place here ahead of the opening of the Second City Crossing (2CC). The work is due to start in the summer (no exact date has yet been confirmed) and will continue for 14 months, during the first and last eight weeks of this period not trams at all will operate through the area but for the remaining 10 months a single line will remain open allowing limited services to run.

St Peter’s Square will become one of the largest stops on the network as the two city centre lines, the current line and the 2CC, will converge here. The stop will be rebuilt with two island platforms and four new sets of tracks and will be moved closer to the Art Gallery which will also provide more public space in the area.

From September 2015 until June 2016 the following services will run on Metrolink:

* Altrincham to Piccadilly – every 12 minutes using double trams

* Altrincham to Cornbrook – every 12 minutes using single trams

* Bury to Piccadilly – every 12 minutes using single trams

* Bury to East Didsbury – every 12 minutes using double trams

* Eccles-MediaCityUK to Deansgate-Castlefield – every 12 minutes using double trams

* Rochdale to Ashton-under-Lyne – every 12 minutes using both single and double trams

* Manchester Airport to Cornbrook – every 12 minutes using single trams

As mentioned above no services at all will be able to travel through St Peter’s Square during the first and last eight weeks of the period. Presumably during this time Cornbrook and Deansgate-Castlefield will be used as termini for services from East Didsbury, Eccles, Manchester Airport and Altrincham with services from Bury and Rochdale either being diverted to Piccadilly or terminated at Victoria. Replacement bus service plans are also being developed to operate throughout the 14 month period.

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “The work programme at St Peter’s Square has been planned to keep passengers moving around the city as effectively as possible to get to work, shops, enjoy nights out and travel to events easily. I’m pleased that we will be able to continue running services that will connect passengers from the north to the south of the city, and vice versa, as well as continuing to meet heavy demand for travel to major events across the network.”

Work will not start at St Peter’s Square until the work currently being undertaken at Deansgate-Castlefield is finished.

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12 Responses to Metrolink reveal plans for St Peter’s Square stop transformation

  1. daodao says:

    It is not very sensible to run trams from Rochdale/Oldham to Ashton or diverting the Altrincham service to Piccadilly as it does not preserve cross-city connections and the Rochdale service effectively turns back on itself. It would be better keeping the Altrincham-Bury and Rochdale-East Didsbury routes as currently operating, and diverting the Ashton route to Bury (terminating at Victoria Sundays and evenings). There is likely to be a massive loss of custom as a result of this closure, and attracting it back may be difficult.

    • Ken Walker says:

      i don’t think it will make much difference. Either the Rochdales will go to Piccadilly or all the Bury trams will due to the reduced capacity at St Peters Square. The Bury trams will all be doubles (as they are now) to maximise use of the restricted paths through the single line, and is much easier to make all the Bury trams doubles than all the Rochdales as the Bury route is shorter and so needs less vehicles.

    • Steve Hyde says:

      Part of the reason for splitting the East Didsbury to Rochdale service is to try to improve reliability during the single line working period. During the current Victoria work when the long service has been disrupted it has been very hard to get it back to an even headway. By splitting it into Ashton Rochdale which will not be affected by the single line and East Didsbury to Piccadilly which is much shorter and easier to regulate reliability should be better.

  2. Bob Hayes says:

    Am I alone in thinking that fourteen months of disruption is a little excessive for what is essentially the insertion of a junction with associated realignment and construction of a new stop?

  3. John Gilbert says:

    One of the biggest missed chances here is that the two junctions at each end of the cross-city line, where it joins the existing line, is that these junctions are not to be three-way. Agreed that this would cost more, but just think what extra opportunities would have been created had they been three-way, not only for normal services but, perhaps especially, at times of service disruption. Short sighted I fear.

    • Mark says:

      I agree John, having the junctions 3 way would also have allowed more flexibility in the central area, for example a tram terminating in the city from say the airport could have run in via exchange, then turned right and run out via market street, this would have allowed more capacity in the center as terminating space is short. the only problem is that they could not have served St Peter’s Square coming from Vic. although the work will be good when it is done am also amazed it is going to take so long and wonder IF the rebuilding in the City will be finished.

    • Ken Walker says:

      Quite so. Prime example, when Mosley street is hlocked by the once-every-few-weeks errant taxis, services from the south side would still be able to get to Piccadilly via cc2.

  4. tram man says:

    Steve is right in his comments.Metrolink have learned a lot during the Victoria single line.Also it swings and roundabouts.During the Victoria shutdown the north side had no direct service to Picc,yet on the south side there has been three direct services to Picc during the day.
    Eccles -Picc-Ashton
    Media city-Picc.

  5. Frank Gradwell says:

    The whole CC2 concept is a short sighted disaster that the region will come to regret in the long term.

    Deansgate should have been the route and the connection points should have been Cornbrook to Long Millgate.

    There is manifest room for four tracks from Central to Cornbrook – if four steam hauled trains could pass, then so can four skinny little trams!

    • David Butterworth says:

      ‘Disaster’ -a bit strong, isn’t it? The decision to use Cross Street was probably the right one. Just consider the amount of disruption which would have occurred to businesses along Deansgate; Kendal’s multi- storied retail outlet, Forsyth’s music shop, Waterstone’s bookshop – to name just three.

      Fewer premises will be affected along Cross Street and the route associated with it.

  6. tram man says:

    I suppose one of the reasons why they are not putting a three way junction at the Victoria end,is that because the airport line will terminate in its own bay platform at Vic.So you could say for instance a vehicle travelling from say from Eccles to picc and there is an R.T.A on mosley st,then it could be diverted via 2CC just turn left and travel a hundred yards into the bay platform at Vic,the driver changes ends and off he trundles back towards Picc,problem solved.Alright it might put five minutes on the journey.Not a bad idea eh!

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