A night of trouble on Metrolink

Wednesday 25th May was a night which proved to be a bit troublesome for passengers attempting to travel on Manchester Metrolink with four incidents causing problems – on a night when scores of people were trying to get to the Etihad Stadium to watch Bruce Springsteen. There were two collisions involving trams, a car finding its way onto the tracks and technical problems which all combined to cause delays on the network.

The highest profile incident happened at 1750 when a car drove onto the tracks near to New Islington and got stuck on the tracks leading down to the tunnel. This saw the service on the Ashton-under-Lyne route being suspended just as passengers were attempting to reach the Etihad Stadium for the concert.

Elsewhere two collisions caused problems with a car and tram colliding in Droylsden at 1730 and then later on in the evening a bus was involved in a collision with a tram at Piccadilly Gardens. There were also issues on the Bury line because of signalling problems at Queen’s Road.

And then just a few hours after this problems were solved another car managed to find its way onto the tracks causing delays to late night services. An Audi got stuck on the tracks on Mosley Street – just at the start (or finish?!) of the single line section – at around 0030.

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9 Responses to A night of trouble on Metrolink

  1. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    I was caught up in this debacle with my son. There were thousands heading to the Etihad Stadium not scores. All the main roads to it were gridlocked and all the aprk and ride facilities brim full with people fighting for spaces. We ended up going from Ashton to Oldham Mumps park and ride. The thing that annoys me is that after I had given my slide show at the PSV Circle meeting I noticed Ashton trams were running again but we needed to go towards Oldham. We went to Piccadilly (Gardens) and noticed the display was showing a profuse apology but nothing to tell the public what was happening and the only destinations listed were Altringham and Ashton. There were at least half a dozen Metrolink officials present and I asked one what was happening in respect of Oldham Rochdale. He did not know but asked one of the other officials who advised that we make our way to Victoria. On the way I noted the Market Street display was showing only Bury for northern destination and the next tram was 23 minutes! Once we reached Victoria numerous trams were coming in from the opposite direction showing “Not In Service”. There were no Metrolink officials present. The displays were just showing Bury and no Rochdale trams. I rang the customer services with the buzzer on the platform and three times it was picked up and put down again without answering, whcih was annoying. Eventually a young lady passenger told me that she had been told that they intended to run a tram to Exchange Square and run it back to Rochdale. A few minutes later Rochdale appeared on the display showing 30 minutes! Then a minute later 3 minutes and then the tram appeared. No announcements were made during all of this time. It just seems to me that the whole control room goes to pieces when catastrophes like this occur. I can understand that all the events were beyond Metrolinks control but they failed to keep the public informed and this made the situation much worse and confusion reigned. The number of times now I have gone into town (MCR centre) and wondered whether I would get back to my car are to numerous to remember. What was particularly worrying for myself on this occasion was that I had my 12 year old son with me.

  2. Frank Gradwell says:

    Hear, hear Ralph.

    I echo every one of your points.

    As to cars on tracks – There is a remedy – but Metrolink won’t even trial it – idiots!

    As to the remainder – there really is a need for a central area “Unimog” style recovery machine a la Blackpool style so that when one unit fails – and it happens all too frequently, the main line can be cleared and be got back into business as soon as possible.

    Everyone knew there was another deadline coming when the Springsteen concert let out – it appears that in typical fashion no-one anticipated it!

    A reliable transport system runs in adversity – not just when everything
    is on spec.

  3. David T says:

    Having been held captive many times over the years I feel sorry for Ralph and especially his son. Information has always been lacking and it is about time the tramway caught up.

    I note that Metro link have not answered but perhaps they prefer Twitter.

  4. Nigel Pennick says:

    Do car drivers whose vehicles end up trapped on the tracks get prosecuted for failing to obey a traffic sign? Or do they get away without police involvement? Surely worth a few points on the licence.

  5. Frank Gradwell says:

    Another typical missing the point post – what is needed is to stop drivers incapable of distinguishing between a tramway and a road surface from making the mistake in the first place.

    Points and fines after the event obviously do not work – so why not at least try to deter them by applying something that will instantly stir them and persuade them that their pride and joy should not be going where they are driving it?

    What is wanted is an obstruction free tramway not a vindictive one.

    • Nigel Pennick says:

      Please do not rubbish my opinion – it is unkind and needless to be so hurtful to someone you do not know. We can’t tell what individual drivers are ‘thinking’ when they break traffic regulations, but we can prevent then from doing it again if they are caught

    • Kev says:

      If they can’t read the road they shouldn’t be driving it’s that simple. Tramways are in the Highway code and part of the theory test. Certainly anyone undertaking lessons in the Manchester, Sheffield etc area should be tought about Trams.
      Why should the onus always be on the Tramway to mitigate against stupidity? They do as much as they can but there are limits!

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