Construction work on new Metrolink extensions in Tameside and South Manchester has been given the green light by the Department for Transport.
Transport Minister Sadiq Khan announced the government’s full approval of plans to extend the Metrolink from Droylsden to Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside and from Chorlton to Didsbury in South Manchester.
A further eight new trams will be ordered to serve Greater Manchester’s expanding Metrolink network, six of which will be funded by the DfT. In addition funding has also been provided for two new Park and Ride sites at Ashton Moss and Ashton West able to accommodate over 600 cars in total.
Councillor Keith Whitmore, chair of the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA), has welcomed the news.
He said: “GMITA created the Greater Manchester Transport Fund in May 2009 to provide a public transport system that will help the economy of Greater Manchester to keep growing.
“Today’s announcement by the Minister alongside the order for an additional eight trams marks another step towards achieving our ambitions for the future of the city region’s public transport network.”
Councillor Ian Macdonald, Vice Chair of GMITA, said: “We were the first authority to bring trams back to city streets, and this announcement is testament to the success of that decision.
“Metrolink has gone from strength to strength since it opened in 1992 and I’m delighted that we’re now going to see it expanded even further.”
GMPTE will now appoint contractors for the Metrolink extensions in Tameside and South Manchester. Detailed design and preparatory works will now be carried out, and local approvals secured, with construction work starting early next year.
Both extensions are part of the Greater Manchester Transport Fund, a £1.5 billion investment programme covering 15 major transport schemes for Greater Manchester.
The new trams are additional to the 40 new vehicles which are being added to the network to serve the existing lines and the extensions to MediaCityUK, Chorlton in South Manchester, Droylsden in Tameside and the line through Oldham Mumps to Rochdale Railway Station.