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Railhub Archive
2008-02-01 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Metrolink's £102million upgrade gets final Government seal of approval

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Department for Transport

Metrolink's £102million upgrade gets final Government seal of approval

1 Feb 2008 09:50
source Department for Transport
type Press release

note DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (017) issued by The Government News Network on 1 February 2008

Plans to upgrade Manchester's tram for the 21st century were given the final seal of approval by Transport Minister Tom Harris today as he signed off the last part of a £102million improvements package.

Tom Harris confirmed that a further £25.7million will invested in the project, which completes the £58m central Government contribution. The money will pay for renovation works along the existing Metrolink system, including the upgrading of bridges, cabling and overhead lines as well as junction improvements on the Eccles line.

The first round of refurbishment works were approved in July 2006 with a Government contribution of £32.3million.

Transport Minister Tom Harris said:

"This funding marks the last piece of a historic funding package for Manchester Metrolink, which will bring the service up to modern standards. The tram is clearly important to Manchester's travelling public and I am glad that it's long term future is now secured."

"I congratulate GMPTE on delivering renewal work so far on time and within budgets, despite poor weather conditions. As a result, disruption to passengers has been kept to a minimum. I am confident this excellent work will continue, so that Manchester's travelling public can look forward to tram services fit for the 21st century as soon as possible."

Tom Harris today also announced plans to move forward with improvements to Blackpool's iconic tram system, including refurbishment of the track and tram stops out to Fleetwood, as well as 16 new fully accessible trams.

Notes to Editors

1. The full funding package for refurbishment works to Manchester Metrolink breaks down as follows:
DfT contribution announced 2006 £ 32.3 million
DfT contribution finally approved today £ 25.7 million
GMPTE contribution total £ 44 million
Total: £ 102 million
Extensions are a separate project.

2. In June 2000, the Department gave full approval for extensions at £282million consisting of some refurbishment of the existing system and three new lines:

* North to Oldham and Rochdale;
* South to Manchester Airport; and
* East to Ashton-under-Lyne.

3. However, due to significant cost increases, the Department withdrew funding in July 2004. In December 2004, the Department confirmed that the £520m budget was still available subject to GMPTE developing a satisfactory plan for the areas included in the original scheme.

4. In July 2006 the department granted conditional approval for the scheme to extend the Metrolink system to Oldham, Rochdale and Chorlton with a central Government contribution of £244million. GMPTE are expected to approach the Department for full approval for the project by May this year. Approval will be granted provided that the costs and risks remain as approved in 2006.

5. GMPTE are also funding a separate extension to Droylsden in the east of the city.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
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Railhub Archive ::: 2008-02-01 DfT-001


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