Latest Rail News

21.02.13

Metrolink extension to Rochdale opening next week

The delayed Manchester Metrolink extension to Rochdale is due to open next Thursday, February 28.

Trams will stop at Rochdale railway station on the existing Oldham line at Shaw & Crompton, as well as Newhey and Milnrow and new destinations Kingsway and Newbold. Services will run every 12 minutes.

The 7.4km extension brings the total size of the Metrolink network to 69km, while the planned future network is even larger.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) committee, said: “These new services will open up several new opportunities for communities along the line: for the very first time, people will be able to travel to and from the brand new stops at Kingsway and Newbold, and all on new trams and tracks.

“They will also be able to travel to and from the new stops at Monsall, Central Park, South Chadderton and Freehold that opened last year, and services will run through to Manchester city centre and on to Chorlton, calling at all stops in between.

“These are all new travel opportunities that weren’t available when this route operated as a traditional railway line.

“People in Rochdale will shortly have the best of both worlds: inter-regional and local rail services, and local tram services. Rochdale is undergoing great change, and Metrolink’s arrival is a great symbol of a bright future.”

Cllr Colin Lambert, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The launch of services from Rochdale Railway Station will benefit residents and businesses in the area and presents a major boost to the local economy, as well as making our borough more accessible to visitors, investors and developers.”

But delays in the programme have been heavily criticised too. Last month Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said: “Let’s be honest about this, Metrolink coming to Rochdale has been a shambles from start to finish. It has upset residents along the route and it has caused misery for businesses in the town because of the delays.

“Questions need to be answered as to who is ultimately responsible for the shambles.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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