Efforts to expand Manchester’s urban light rail system have moved forward in January, with work commencing on a new link for the tram network, while the opening of the Second City Crossing scheme also came a step closer.
Ground was broken earlier in the month on the development of a new route that will connect the Trafford Centre shopping mall and the Trafford Park industrial area to the city centre.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said the £350 million scheme will improve transport connections to over 1,300 businesses located at Trafford Park and the surrounding area, as well as helping visitors connect with major attractions such as the Imperial War Museum North, EventCity and Old Trafford football ground.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Tony Lloyd described the Metrolink network as one of the city’s “major success stories”, adding it is great to see work finally beginning on the project.
“Trafford Park is the largest industrial estate in Europe and deserving of first class transport links – and this new route also takes in other iconic destinations, from Old Trafford to the Trafford Centre,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the opening of the Metrolink’s Second City Crossing has also moved closer after another successful round of testing on the line was completed.
The route runs from St Peter’s Square to Victoria station and will significantly increase the capacity of the network. It marks the final piece of Metrolink’s £1.5 billion ‘big bang’ project, which has seen the network extended to MediaCityUK, East Didsbury, Rochdale, Oldham, Ashton and Manchester Airport in recent years.
Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “While the Second City Crossing is a relatively short stretch of line, it is a crucial piece in the Metrolink jigsaw – allowing us to run more trams on a more flexible and reliable tram network. That’s great news not just for the city centre, but for customers right across Greater Manchester.”