A 26 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of a bomb hoax after a backpack was left in Piccadilly Gardens, causing major disruption to Metrolink services through Manchester City Centre for several hours during the afternoon and evening of Friday 3rd May. A cordon was put round the scene from around 1400 until 2000 during which time no trams were able to serve either Market Street or Piccadilly Gardens.
The backpack is believed to have been confirmed as “non-viable” but for obvious reasons Greater Manchester Police took no chances whilst a full investigation took place putting the cordon into place for a prolonged period. Whilst it did cause major disruption to the public attempting to go about their business that is just a minor inconvenience when you think of the high profile nature of the potential incident.
With the original city crossing closed to trams a revised service was in operation for several hours on Metrolink with all cross-city trams diverted via 2CC. This saw trams from Altrincham diverted to Victoria (instead of Piccadilly) and those from Bury to Deansgate-Castlefield (instead of Piccadilly). The Altrincham to Bury direct service went via 2CC whilst trams from Eccles terminated at Cornbrook and those from Ashton-under-Lyne running to Piccadilly.