New plans have been given the green light to allow Metrolink to extend it’s existing network to provide services to the Trafford Centre. ITV say the new line will throw production of their flagship soap into chaos.
Transport for Greater Manchester has been given the green light to extend it’s current Metrolink network to provide services to the Trafford Centre. Construction is expected to start as early as Christmas 2016 with the first trams being operational by 2020.
The 3.4 mile long line, starting from Pomona, will have 6 news stops starting with Warfside for Old Trafford, Imperial War Museum North, Village, Parkway, EventCity and the Trafford Centre. The map below shows the approved route and the proximity of the coronation Street set to the line.
Speaking about the recent announcement, a spokesperson for ITV told me the only statement they can currently issue is as follows: “We are disappointed that the Secretary of State has green lit the new Trafford Park tram route despite the fact there was a viable approved alternative route. The order includes a number of specific planning conditions intended to address our concerns which we will now study in detail.”
An alternative route was proposed which would have seen the line bypass MediaCity, although TfGM say this route would not offer the same level of benefit as the approved one.
The plans are part of a 1.5bn scheme to eventually see the network triple in size. In recent years the network has been extended to Manchester Airport and MediaCityUK. Additionally, a new city zone line has been under construction this year linking St Peter’s Square to Exchange Square.
A recent study was carried out in Manchester to find out where people wanted the network to expand to next. Amongst the answers there were some obvious choices such as services to Middleton and Stockport, plans that local MPs have been lobbying in favour of for some time now. But a few people even suggested extending to services to places such as Glossop, Wigan and Chester using the existing heavy rail used by Northern and Transpennine. This is the new tram-train idea currently being examined by Metrolink.
These future visions for Metrolink were part of the Manchester Devolution, deal agreed with George Osborne in 2014. TfGM say the Trafford Park extension has been in the pipeline for many years now and once complete, will transform the way people travel through the city. When the project was given the go ahead in October people took to social media to express their mixed reactions….