Ashton line service frequency set to increase

Passengers travelling between Etihad Campus and Ashton-under-Lyne are set to enjoy an improved service frequency in early 2019 with the extension of the MediaCityUK to Etihad Campus service being made permanent following trials earlier this year. This will see trams running every six minutes all the way through to Ashton-under-Lyne – instead of the current 12 minute frequency.

The news was revealed by Aline Frantzen, Managing Director or KeolisAmey Metrolink, at a Transport Focus meeting and reported in the Manchester Evening News. The exact date of when the new service will be introduced hasn’t been announced with the vague “early 2019” mentioned although it is expected this will be shortly after the new year.

It may be remembered that earlier this year there were two trial days of extending the MediaCityUK service through to Ashton-under-Lyne with the aim of trialling the practicalities of extra trams including on traffic light phasing. These were obviously considered a success as it is now the plan to permanently extend the service giving passengers on this route a much improved service going forward.

Aline Frantzen said: “We’re on schedule to begin running a six-minute service on the Ashton line from early 2019. This is a brilliant opportunity to improve connectivity with East Manchester and Tameside, and all it has to offer, and the work we’re doing will contribute to other work by TfGM in that part of Greater Manchester, such as the new transport interchange at Ashton. Increasing the frequency of trams on the Ashton line was part of KAM’s commitment to TfGM in becoming the operator of Metrolink so we are delivering on what we said we would do. Along with the immediate benefits to current customers with more trams, more capacity and the ability to make their journeys more flexibly, it will bring wider benefits to nearby communities. This includes supporting Greater Manchester’s clean air and congestion plans. Careful planning has gone into this and we’ve worked with TfGM and local authorities to achieve it.”

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