Metrolink services to East Didsbury to start on 23 May

The next part of the Manchester Metrolink jigsaw will be put into place on Thursday 23 May when the remainder of the South Manchester line to East Didsbury starts passenger services – and for a nice change it is several months ahead of schedule! The first tram will leave East Didsbury at 0549 heading to Rochdale Railway Station and trams will run every 12 minutes on weekdays and between 0900 and 1800 on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

This 2.7 mile (4.4km) extension to the South Manchester line will see a further five stops join the Metrolink network at Withington, Burton Road, West Didsbury, Didsbury Village and East Didsbury. The line also features a Park and Ride site at the East Didsbury stop for 300 cars – free to use for Metrolink passengers.

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester committee, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to announce the opening of this new line several months earlier than we expected. It’s something that I, personally, have been promoting for more than 30 years, but for it to be complete so far ahead of schedule is a wonderful achievement, and my thanks for that go to TfGM, our local authority partners and, of course, our contractor, MPT. I am particularly pleased that the last government committed funding for this project before the last general election. This ensured that the contract was signed before the spending axe fell. This new line is a great addition to our ever-growing Metrolink network and will give people a new and exciting way to experience all the vibrant things that South Manchester has to offer.”

Tickets between East Didsbury and Withington will cost £1.80 for a peak anytime single and £2.60 for a peak anytime return. The same tickets from stops between East Didsbury and Withington to stops between St Werburgh’s Road and Firswood will cost £2.10 and £3.60 respectively. Journeys between neighbouring stops start at £1.30 for a single. Tickets from East Didsbury to all stops in Manchester city centre will cost £3.40 and £5.40 respectively with an off peak return also available for £3.80.

Trams from East Didsbury to the city centre will take less than half an hour and run every 12 minutes on weekdays and between 0900 and 1800 on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Outside of these times trams run every 15 minutes. Services will run from East Didsbury to Rochdale Railway Station as an extension of the current St Werburgh’s Road service.

When the line to East Didsbury opens it will bring the Metrolink network to 45.6 miles (73.4km). The next line to open after this will be an extension of the East Manchester line to Ashton-under-Lyne and this is expected in winter 2013/4.

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1 Response to Metrolink services to East Didsbury to start on 23 May

  1. Howie B says:

    How wonderful to see the old South District Line springing back to life after 44 years. How well I recall that tragic day when Manchester Central closed its doors for the last time on 5th May 1969. The track gangs had ripped up the permanent way from Chorlton Junction to East Didsbury by the October. Of course Didsbury and Chorlton-cum-Hardy stations had closed at the end of 1966. Before then, the faster steam-hauled trains covered Didsbury to Manchester Central in just 11 minutes! May 23rd 2013 will be a very important day for the good folks of M20 as the old alignment ceases to be a nature reserve and reverts to its intended use carrying passengers again. Floreat Metrolink!

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