Transport for Greater Manchester have confirmed that the single platform at Mosley Street in Manchester city centre is to close to passengers following services on Friday 17 May. It is now possible to close Mosley Street because new real time access displays have been installed at Shudehill, Market Street, Piccadilly Gardens, Piccadilly Gardens, Piccadilly station, St Peter’s Square and Deansgate-Castlefield stops enabling passengers to see where and when the next three departures are due to go.
It has been a long held ambition to close Mosley Street stop as it is said it will improve journey times, reliability and capacity on the network. Mosley Street is the only remaining stop on the network which still requires double T68s to use their steps to use and its closure may hasten the end for the older trams on the network as there will be nothing to stop double M5000s being used on the Bury-Altrincham direct service. The stop has only ever had a single Altrincham bound platform with no Bury bound platform ever built. It has traditionally been the first stop in the city centre where all Altrincham bound services converge and as a result of this a new information display will be installed in the vicinity to let people know whether the next Altrincham service will be from Piccadilly Gardens (from Piccadilly Station) or Market Street (from Bury). The displays at both these stops will also inform passengers which stop the next service will depart from.
Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, commented: “We know that passengers want to be kept informed at all times and providing real-time information on when their next tram will arrive is crucial to that. In order to provide that, we’ve had to change the way the network operates behind the scenes. That’s been a massive challenge, especially on a ‘live’ network, but we are now starting to see the fruits of that labour through these new displays. The new tram management system is being rolled out in phases and once that process is complete, passengers across the network will benefit from this kind of information. In the future, the aim is to provide this at their fingertips too: on smartphones and tablets. I am sure the information these displays provide will be of great benefit as people make their way around the network, but this is just one of the many passenger-focused benefits being provided by the expansion programme. The new tram management system will enable us to run more trams, more frequently and in more effective ways than before, particularly when the network is at its busiest or in response to any disruption. It’s a significant step forward in our journey to providing a truly customer-focused network.”
Peter Cushing, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, added: “Mosley Street only serves trams in one direction, and is the only split-level platform left on the network, which means only the older trams can call there as double trams. As the network has expanded, this has presented a bottleneck in the city centre, and also means we can’t run our new trams as doubles on services to Altrincham, Eccles, Chorlton and, in the near future, East Didsbury. Closing the stop removes both problems and also offers journey time savings, protects the reliability of services and opens up the immediate area to improve pedestrian access to local businesses. It also means, in future, we will be able to run more double trams through the city centre, which will provide more room for passengers. We fully appreciate that removing any stop on the network will have an effect but Mosley Street is very close to Piccadilly Gardens and Market Street and the additional displays will help people get to the right stop to catch the next available Altrincham-bound service.”
* You can view a leaflet on the closure at http://www.tfgm.com/mosleyst/Documents/Mosley-St-Closure.pdf