Sunday, May 18, 2008
By 2012, residents and commuters will be able to use the Metrolink to travel as far as Oldham, Rochdale or Chorlton, as well as benefit from upgrades to the existing network that will enable faster and more frequent services.
Whilst visiting St Peter's Square tram stop, Ruth Kelly said:
"Metrolink has been at the heart of Greater Manchester's transport system for more than a decade. Carrying 20 million passengers a year, it has been providing an excellent service to local residents and commuters.
"These much-anticipated improvements will make a huge difference to local public transport, and are expected to carry an extra 10 million passengers a year.
"Giving final approval to these plans reflects the Government's commitment to providing convenient, reliable and comfortable public transport. This ensures people have a real alternative to using their cars, and supports my aim to tackle congestion and reduce harmful pollution."
The extensions will go from the city centre to Oldham, Rochdale, and Chorlton as new track and new stops are created. Work will also include upgrades such as rejuvenating disused rail routes for the trams to run on. This will in turn contribute to faster journey times and more frequent services.
This £244m investment represents the final allocation of the £520m dedicated by the Government to Greater Manchester transport improvements in 2004.
Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) is also constructing a further extension to the Metrolink network, separately funded, to Droylsden in the east of the city.