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Government gives go-ahead for Trafford Metrolink extension

A 5.5km extension to the Manchester Metrolink tram network is set to go ahead after the DfT gave an order allowing it to be built.

The £350m Trafford Park Line, funded through Greater Manchester’s devolution deal, will branch off from the Pomona stop and reach six further stops.

It will extend the total Metrolink network to 107km and bring tram services to some of Manchester’s biggest attractions, including Wharfside, near Old Trafford football stadium, and the Imperial War Museum.

Tony Lloyd, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Today’s announcement is another big step forward for Greater Manchester. I’m delighted that our long held ambition to build a new Metrolink line through Trafford Park is now about to become a reality.”

The Transport and Works Act Order from transport secretary Chris Grayling gives Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) the necessary powers, including compulsory purchase of land, to begin the project. Building work is due to start this winter, with the line in operation by 2020-21.

ITV was among those objecting to the project, on the grounds that the construction noise, wheel squeal and vibrations from the works would disrupt filming of Coronation Street at the ITV Trafford Wharf studios.

However, in his response, Grayling said he agreed with the independent planning inspector that proposed conditions for limiting and monitoring noise would be sufficient.

TfGM also had to satisfy concerns from Manchester United that the proposed highway alterations would create heavier traffic and pose a safety threat to crowds leaving Old Trafford after a match, and concerns from local shipping companies about the impact of the works on harbour and canal transport.

Cllr Sean Anstee, leader of Trafford Council, said: “This is great news for Trafford and the Greater Manchester area. It will bring countless opportunities for further investment in the borough and across the region.

“Excellent transport links are vital to make Greater Manchester as attractive as possible for businesses to establish themselves here and, with them, more jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”

Manchester Metrolink recently celebrated the complete upgrade of its fleet as the last M500 tram left Bombardier’s depot in Vienna. Passenger numbers on the network increased by 19% in the past year.

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Andrew Gwilt   13/10/2016 at 19:54

Will that also extend to Salford and Salford Docks if it's to be extended and possibly the extension of the Metrolink could also extend to Stockport and South Manchester area including a loop that will connect with the existing Metrolink line at Manchester Airport via Wythenshawe Town Centre.

David   14/10/2016 at 01:17

There are no plans for extension to Salford or Stockport, Andrew. Frankly I'd rather see the Sheffield tram extended first.

Jameds Palma   14/10/2016 at 08:25

Wow!! the Manchester tram system is really revolutionising transport. It is a shame tram systems cannot be built in other cities, like London.

David   14/10/2016 at 09:13

There's a tram in Croydon, South London, Jameds. It's a shame that certain trams seem to be in a perpetual time-lock though, like the Sheffield tram. No chance of any extension being finished while I'm living there.

Andrew Gwilt   14/10/2016 at 09:22

Sounds like someone hasn't been to Croydon to ride on the London Tramlink.

(Dr) Pedr Jarvis   14/10/2016 at 22:43

The planned redevelopment of the west side of Caernarfon, including a new railway station, may be in trouble because of the vote to leave the EU. The EU Regional Development Fund was to have put money into this scheme, as they have elsewhere in Wales.

Andrew Gwilt   15/10/2016 at 10:29

Actually I was right (dispite mistakes) and you are wrong mostly David. The new tram line is going to extend to Port Salford (not Salford Dock).

David   15/10/2016 at 22:35

Okay, I hold my hands up. The last time I read about it, there were doubts that the full extension was going to be approved. At least Manchester's tram is getting some investment, I know of other cities that could really use some.

Andrew Gwilt   15/10/2016 at 22:50

Glad you agree David.

Matthew   08/05/2017 at 08:13

There are several stations already in that area like, Media City Harbour City Anchorage Salford Quays Exchange Quay And with the new stations Wharfside, Imperial War Museum you've got like an encirclement of the old docks. I've lived in this area all my life and seen the entire journey from the docks to what it is now and I have no idea why anyone would say it needs extending to the docks. Obviously Port Salford is the future but this will be miles away from the old docks, outside the M60 ring road.

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