Funding secured to improve Manchester tram network

Greater Manchester tramThe British Government, through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS), is providing a GBP 21.4 million (EUR 25 million) funding for the improvement of Greater Manchester tram network. The funding will be used over the next 12 months, to ensure services remain safe and reliable for years to come.

Approved by the Bee Network committee, the work is part of a planned GBP 147 million (EUR 171.8 million) package to maintain, upgrade and improve the network up to 2027.

“This is a coordinated package of planned works to maintain, renew and improve the network and help to keep Greater Manchester moving, and while we understand any disruption can be frustrating, we’ll be doing everything we can to keep it to a minimum,” Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said.

Immediate priorities for this summer include track replacement in several parts of the city centre, including Piccadilly Gardens and London Road, and on parts of the Altrincham and Bury Lines. This will mean quicker, smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers.

Plans also include a programme of modifications to the trams themselves, installing state-of-the art systems to keep passengers safe. These include sensors in the middle of double trams and speed warning devices.

New electrical substations are being added along parts of the Bury Line, providing additional power so that more doubles trams run in future.

Metrolink is also replacing much of the communications network critical to the operation of its signalling and control systems.

TfGM is also looking into the replacement of overhead lines on some of the older parts of the network such as the Bury Line, which caused several prolonged disruptions in 2023.

Long-term benefits to passengers include better reliability and an improved experience for customers.

The work will mean some short-term disruption, which will be planned to minimise inconvenience to passengers. Information about service changes and replacement bus services will be available well in advance of the work.

Metrolink passenger numbers are back to pre-pandemic levels during the weekday peak times and even busier on weekends. With 130,000 journeys on an average weekday, work on the network is planned carefully to keep disruption to a minimum.

The Greater Manchester tram network has a length of 64 miles (103 km) with 99 stops with more than 700 million journeys being made on the trams since opening in 1992.

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