Trafford Park Metrolink extension confirmed as part of major devolution deal

Monday 3rd November certainly seems to have been a good day for Manchester Metrolink as not only has the Airport extension opened to the public but it has also seen confirmation of the Trafford Park extension as part of the deal to bring an elected Mayor to Greater Manchester. Chancellor George Osborne visited the area – and even found time to enjoy a ride on the Airport extension – to officially announce the new deal which will see the Mayor have power over not only transport policies but also social care, housing and Police budgets.

As far as transport is concerned the major news from this announcement is confirmation that the £350 million Metrolink extension to Trafford Park is now funded. Up to £900 million (dependent on economic performance) is now available for transport projects over 30 years and this will enable long term planning and a more co-ordinated transport strategy. Of note is that Greater Manchester will now be able to introduce a London style bus franchise system which should mean that a more integrated transport network will be able to operate as in London. The introduction of Oyster style tickets – getmethere – will also continue meaning passengers no longer have to purchase several tickets for one journey across several different modes of transport.

Chancellor George Osborne commented: “I am delighted to be able to mark the opening of the new Metrolink line to Manchester Airport over 12 months ahead of schedule. The network now covers over 92km and is a vital economic asset for Manchester. It is also great news that, thanks to the devolution deal I have agreed with Manchester today, there will be a further £350 million extension to Trafford which will provide significant additional benefits to the city. The Metrolink will come under the powers of the new Mayor, supporting an Oyster-style travelcard system that will make travelling on the network and all of Greater Manchester’s public transport simpler and easier. These are exactly the sort of transport improvements that will not only allow Manchester to prosper and thrive but also help turn our vision of a Northern Powerhouse economy into reality.”

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “Today’s historic announcement marks nothing less than a new era for commuters in Greater Manchester, one in which they can look forward to the sort of seamless travel they may have experienced in London moving from the tube to bus. This deal will, subject to consultation, allow us to move to a model of bus franchising, similar to the system used in London, providing us with the ability to set bus routes, frequencies and fares for the benefit of the people of Greater Manchester. There is sound reasoning for adopting this approach, not only will bus passengers benefit from a truly integrated network, it will also help to support the continued economic growth of the region. The deal also unlocks access to very substantial amounts of transport funding – providing more certainty and the ability to plan ahead. Not only that, it means that we can move ahead with the construction of the Metrolink line through Trafford Park to the Trafford Centre, a scheme which will benefit thousands of people and many businesses in the area. This bold and pioneering step will not only support the further development of Greater Manchester’s economy, it will also have a very real and tangible positive affect on the lives of tens of thousands of people across Greater Manchester who will be able to access jobs and education more easily.”

The Trafford Park line is planned to leave the Eccles line shortly after Pomona and then travel via stops at Wharfside, Imperial War Museum, Village, Parkway, EventCity and Trafford Centre. A public consultation took place earlier this year and plans will now be progressed further ahead of construction and eventual opening.

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18 Responses to Trafford Park Metrolink extension confirmed as part of major devolution deal

  1. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    Good idea but let us hope that the right amount of money is made available for other future projects. As a frightening example I have just read that the spending per person on transport in Gtr London is £2596 but the spend per head in the North East Region is £5 per head!!!!!! I really do not know the figures for the North West and indeed the Gtr Manchester area at 2.7 million is greater than the North East in total. Let us shout it loud and clear that as the second urban area of Britain we want at least a third of what London receives in proportion to the respective population figures.

  2. Baz Longson says:

    I have to agree with Ralph, re the amount of spending. It states Greater Manchester will get up to £900 million over 30 years ! that’s only £30 million per year. London is in the process of spending £15 BILLION on Cross Rail 1 and there is talk of Cross Rail 2. This is within a much smaller time scale of around 5-10 years. Spending on public transport should be the same per person whether in London or the North and not at the current 520 times more in London than the North East.

    • Ken Walker says:

      To put things into perspective the work currently taking place at Victoria station is costing £44 million, so one transport project like this would take the whole funding pot for 18 months. Let’s not be fooled, this is just crumbs compared to what’s being spent in the south east.

      • Baz Longson says:

        Again I agree with you Ken. You and I, plus most of Joe public understand this, but I just don’t think that our political leaders do. Now if it was £900 million EVERY year for 30 years, that would be another story, but as stated above, this is not the case and its £900m over 30 years which is £30m per year. Wow, just how much will that buy. Answer not a lot.

  3. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    This is why Ken we all need to make a lot of noise and make sure George Osborne does not think we are all that thick up north that he can work one on us!

  4. tram man says:

    No wonder the budget is a lot higher in London,this is so they can afford to spend £350 thousand pound on one Boris bus,which is also two manned.Maybe with the new budget they will be able to put a second line through cornbrook.

  5. James Palma says:

    A few quick quick questions for everyone, from a Londoner.

    What is the population of northern cities compared to London?
    What are the economic benefits of northern cities compared with London?
    What role do northern cities play in the world economy compared with London?
    How many people commute in to any one single city outside of London on a daily basis?

    This morning and every morning of the working week I leave home to undertake my 1 hour commute from home to work using the DLR and Jubilee line. I sometimes use the Thames Clipper boat, or the main line train, and only if I have to, the bus.

    From 530am until 930am, ALL of these services, except the boat services are full to dangerous levels where sometimes doors cannot be closed. These are services of every 5 minutes, 2-3 minutes, 20 minutes, 10 minutes and 2 minute frequencies (respectively). This is on ONE journey on ONE route in to London and back out. Multiply that by all the routes into and out of the central zone and those people moving from one suburb to another. The tube just broke 4 million people a day AGAIN, recently. That is only the tube. Add tot hat buses, cyclists, main line trains, trams.

    Now, my point. I regularly travel to other cities for work, Manachester, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow. I often have to travel at 730 in the morning to get to early morning meetings, or later. While I do not live in these places, I experience SOME of the effect of the public transport systems. They are no way near as utilised as the services in London. They carry nowehere near the number of people per hour as London, the cities do not produce the ecomonic benefits of London (retail, industry, financial districts, tourism).

    Recently in Cambridge I had to wait 20 minutes for a bus, which was a shock, considering I am used to one at least every 2 minutes, but then there is just not the demand for a higher frequency of service.

    Yes the New Bus for London, has two crew, yes, they are expensive, but as a rgular user in the city of these buses, they are invaluable as I can jump on and off like I used to with the Routemasters when I am stuck in traffic, which is way heavier than any other city in Britain. Admittedly, I do not see why I should be paying for somene just to stand at the back door though.

    While I do not deny some of these features of London (economic and employment) should be cascaded elsewhere, it is going to take a long time and the only way to do it is for these major global industries to move their headquarters to locations outside of London. But they aren’t going to because no of them will risk it, in case the competition steals their specialist staff etc.

    Sorry to go on, but try and do my journey every weekday for 48 weeks a year and you will soon be shouting that you need improved transport here in London. I am sure someone will try and counter this, but I would like to see an argument based on empirical evidence.

  6. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    If you take the Greater Manchester/Merseyside continuous Urban area that is over 4 million without Leeds or Sheffield. In other words just under a half of London. If public transport was better connected, subsidised and more frequent then many more would use it. There is a chronic shortage of railway carriages and seats here and it does nothing to have too put up with the dreaded class 142s and receive cast offs from the south east for the recent electrification schemes. I also lived in London for 9 years and I know what it is like there also. The figures I quoted earlier on in these comments a few days ago were printed in a well known rail magazine.

    • Ken Walker says:

      James, when did you last have to commute in London on a 2-car 142 or a single M5000 in the peak? Why is it that London transport gets £240 a head spend on transport while west England gets £5 a head? The difference in travel situations is nowhere near great enough to justify such a disparity. Trains and trams here are dangerously overcrowded in the peak as well. Not to mention that us pesky northerners don’t get a lower tax rate to compensate for the poor provision on services generally.

  7. John james says:

    I am seriously impressed with the Manchester tram network and only wish we had something half as good in London so buses can be cascaded to the suburbs.

  8. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    The figures I used should have read £1596 per head in London and £5 in the North East. I notice that I had put £2596 by accident but £1596 is absolutely terrible. When I lived in London I received London Weighting allowance on top of my basic wage which was a considerable amount. Nowhere else receives this except London and the South East. They even get fringe allowance in Brighton.

  9. tram man says:

    It all seems a case of simple “Pro-rata” equation to me.Even though the population of London is bigger than Manchester.If the figure per head is twice as much in London than Manchester,then that says to me that they are getting twice the service.
    Metrolink new trams were slightly cheaper because Bombardier were about to shut down the production line of this model of tram.Stagecoach buy of the peg buses from Dennis/Alexander which do the same job as the Boris bus.Yes I know stage coach own Dennis/alexander,but you can see my point.I know London is probably more densely populated,but my “Pro-Rata comes into play again.

  10. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    £1596 per head in London and £5 per head in the North East. That is 319 times per head in London. I am not sure what the figures for Manchester are but it is bigger than the whole of the North East. So we are not talking London only getting twice as much but hundreds times more!

    • Ken Walker says:

      Regardless of the total of the population of London, Manchester, the north east etc, providing proportional levels of transport should still cost the same per head give or take a small amount. Ie 5 times as many people travelling needs 5 times as many trams / buses / railway carriages or whatever. 319 times as much is an obscene disparity.

  11. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    Thanks Ken that is the message I am trying to hammer home. The present state of affairs can not be allowed to continue.

  12. tram man says:

    I am not one to get involved in north versus south,but I have just picked up on two questions put by James.
    1. What are the economic benefits of northern cities compared to London.
    2. What role do northern cities play in the world economy compared to London.
    I know London is the financial capital of the country,but I seem to remember that the industrial revolution started in the north.Plus the first railways were started in the north.Also the manufacturing power houses were all in the north and the midlands in such towns as Manchester,Leeds,Newcastle,Sheffield and Birmingham to name a few.I don’t seem to recall London being classed as a power house of manufacturing.

  13. roger woodhead says:

    My five penneth is the whole of the North has been starved of investment for years but there is a sting in the tail to this.
    1 it appears to be conditional on the election of a Mayor.
    2. It’s depends on economic growth.
    3.The money is being given by a Chancellor who will be up for a general election in May next year and I bet none of this will be in place before then.

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