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Metrolink keeping a ‘watchful eye’ on tram-train developments

Manchester's Metrolink is keeping a “watchful eye” on the £60m tram-train study in South Yorkshire as it could pave the way for future opportunities and developments for the city’s light rail network, RTM has been told.

Speaking to Peter Cushing, director at Metrolink, following the launch of this year’s national tram passenger satisfaction surveys, he said that nothing has been “discounted but nothing had been decided at the moment”.

Reflecting on the delayed Sheffield to Rotherham tram-train pilot, which was given a boost at the end of 2015 when the DfT granted a TWAO application to build the new Tinsley Chord, Cushing said that tram-train is an aspiration for the future. Tram-train is expected to start running in early 2017.

“We are looking at what the potential routes are for it,” he said. “Clearly, we are keeping a watchful eye on the study in Sheffield because that is going to pave the way for everybody – more in terms of its relationship with Network Rail and the tram route rather than the vehicle itself, because it is unsuitable for our system.”

He added that expanding Metrolink, which saw a sharp increase in passenger satisfaction this year, despite problems with its smart ticketing contract, is all subject to business cases, economic viability and whether it is possible to do it.

“And that is where tram-train really comes into its own,” he said. “Nothing is discounted but nothing is discounted at the moment.”

Cushing added that from next year when Greater Manchester’s elected mayor will have overall responsibility for transport it should help the 10 local authorities work even closer together.

“The more support we can get from the whole of the combined authority the better,” he said, “and if that includes support from the elected mayor that is fantastic.”

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Geordie   31/05/2016 at 16:34

So what? Why does everything always have to be about Manchester all the time? Let other provincial cities get on with it, without constant reference to bloody Manchester.

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