9 June, 2008 – Manchester's Metrolink is now running on water
Metrolink has become the first tram system in the UK to be powered using water. Transport bosses at Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) have signed a deal with Scottish and Southern Energy to use hydroelectricity to run the service.
Metrolink is already one of the most environmentally-friendly forms of transport in Greater Manchester as it does not produce air pollution at street level.
The decision to use hydroelectricity to power the trams will also substantially cut Metrolink’s carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
Philip Purdy, GMPTE’s Metrolink Director, said: "About a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions come from transport, and we want to do our bit to reduce them.
"Anyone who travels on Metrolink instead of using their car is already helping to fight climate change as trams are nearly four times better for the environment. Using hydropower will make them even more environmentally friendly.
"I hope our decision will encourage people to leave their cars at home and travel by tram instead."
A recent GMPTE survey found that nearly a fifth of people in Greater Manchester claim to have altered how they make journeys because of fears about climate change.
25 to 39-year-olds are most likely to have been affected. 21 per cent said it has led to them altering their travel behaviour, compared to 12 per cent for over 60s.
The survey was carried out last summer and focused on travel behaviour during the previous six months.
GMPTE is overseeing a multi-million pound expansion of the Metrolink network to Oldham and Rochdale, Droylsden in Tameside, Chorlton in South Manchester, and Media City:UK in Salford Quays.
Source: GMPTE press release