New Trafford Park tram line launched

Metrolink has launched the new £350m Trafford Park Line – which adds a further 5.5km of track and six additional stops.

The delivery of the new line supports Great Manchester’s progress towards a London-style transport system. Launched in June 2019, ‘Our Network’ is a ten-year plan to create an integrated, modern and accessible public network.

The Metrolink opens doors to some of the region’s most iconic visitor destination – although during the COVID-19 crisis public transport should only be used for trips that are absolutely necessary for work, to get supplies, to care for others or for medical reasons.

Transport for Greater Manchester said the launch went ahead as planned to help people who have to make essential journeys.

Speaking before its launch, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “It is a much-needed addition to the Metrolink network and will encourage more people to use public transport to journey around our city-region, and in doing so reduce congestion on our roads and improve the quality of our air.

“Last June I set out Our Network – a vision for the type of world-class transport network I want us to have here in Greater Manchester. This new line is a great step towards that, and a shining example of what we can deliver with the right funding and powers.”

The project was the first to benefit from the region’s Devolution Deal – signed by Greater Manchester leaders and central government in November 2014, with a £20 million contribution from Trafford Council – and has been delivered approximately seven months earlier than originally planned.

The Trafford Park line runs through Europe’s largest industrial estate, providing access to thousands of jobs, including global brands such as Kellogg’s, Unilever, Missguided, L’Oreal and Adidas. The new stops also provide easy access to some of the North West’s top retail and leisure destinations, including intu Trafford Centre, Old Trafford stadium and Imperial War Museum North.

Leader of Trafford Council, Councillor Andrew Western, said: “The opening of the Trafford Park Line will be hugely important for the continued development of the local and regional economy. It is fantastic news for the tens of thousands of people who come to Trafford Park and the surrounding areas for work and leisure.

“It will also help get more cars off the road as visitors will now have a real transport alternative via Metrolink to some of the country’s most famous retail and leisure destinations including Manchester United and the Imperial War Museum.”

Transport for Greater Manchester’s Chief Executive, Eamonn Boylan, added: “A project of this size and scale is a huge undertaking and we are pleased at how smoothly it’s come together, meaning we’re opening the line much sooner than we anticipated.”

The mutually-beneficial deal between intu Trafford Centre and TfGM offers them opportunities to promote their leisure and retail destination alongside TfGM – the commercial income generated will be reinvested back into the Metrolink network.

Photo credits: Transport for Greater Manchester