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2008-05-16 DfT-001
Department for Transport

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Kelly announces £244m for Manchester tram extensions


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Department for Transport

Kelly announces £244m for Manchester tram extensions
_______________________________________________________________


date
16 May 2008 09:20
source Department for Transport
type Press release

note DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (074) issued by The Government News Network on 16 May 2008


Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly today announced that people living and commuting in Greater Manchester will soon benefit from extensions to the popular Metrolink tram. This follows the Government pledging £244million towards the £382million total cost of the scheme.

By 2012, residents and commuters will be able to use the Metrolink to travel as far as Oldham, Rochdale or Chorlton, as well as benefit from upgrades to the existing network that will enable faster and more frequent services.

Whilst visiting St Peter's Square tram stop, Ruth Kelly said:

"Metrolink has been at the heart of Greater Manchester's transport system for more than a decade. Carrying 20 million passengers a year, it has been providing an excellent service to local residents and commuters.

"These much-anticipated improvements will make a huge difference to local public transport, and are expected to carry an extra 10 million passengers a year.

"Giving final approval to these plans reflects the Government's commitment to providing convenient, reliable and comfortable public transport. This ensures people have a real alternative to using their cars, and supports my aim to tackle congestion and reduce harmful pollution."

The extensions will go from the city centre to Oldham, Rochdale, and Chorlton as new track and new stops are created. Work will also include upgrades such as rejuvenating disused rail routes for the trams to run on. This will in turn contribute to faster journey times and more frequent services.

This £244m investment represents the final allocation of the £520m dedicated by the Government to Greater Manchester transport improvements in 2004.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) is also constructing a further extension to the Metrolink network, separately funded, to Droylsden in the east of the city.

Notes to Editors

1. The first phase of Manchester Metrolink opened in 1992 between Bury and Altrincham. It was then extended to Eccles in 2000.

2. Conditional Approval for the extensions was granted by Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander in July 2006.

3. Final approval was granted by Transport Minister Tom Harris in May 2008.

4. The new sections of track will take trams to Oldham, Rochdale and Chorlton via two extended lines. They will provide improved access to the city centre for those on the outskirts of Manchester.

5. The extension to Oldham and Rochdale, which plans to open in 2012, will be around 23 km long. Work will include a conversion of Oldham's existing Loop rail line to Metrolink operation, allowing direct access to Manchester City Centre and Piccadilly rail station.

6. The section to Chorlton in South Manchester will be 4 kilometres long and is expected to open in 2011. The disused railway line between Trafford Bar and Chorlton would be converted to Metrolink use as far as St Werburgh's Road. The extension provides improved access from the densely populated areas of Firswood and Chorlton to Manchester city centre and links them directly with growing job opportunities on the Oldham - Rochdale corridor and, with one interchange, Salford Quays.

7. A further extension to Droylsden in the east of the city is being funded locally.

8. Further extensions to Metrolink are included within Greater Manchester's Transport Innovation Fund bid, which is currently being considered by the Department.

9. A map of the extensions, as well as other routes GMPTE wish to progress, can be accessed on the following page of GMPTE's website.
http://www.gmpte. com/pdfmaps/07_0752_73112_A4metnet.pdf

10. The Department granted Full Approval earlier this year to the final element of their £58m funding contribution to the £102m project designed to refurbish and upgrade the existing system.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk


Railhub Archive ::: 2008-05-16 DfT-001





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