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Manchester Metrolink News 2006

19 December 2006: Public Safety Officers for Metrolink
14 November 2006: Metrolink Phase 1 & 2 upgrade
9 November 2006: Metrolink Operation & Maintenance Contracts
6 November 2006: Funding boost for ambitious transport plans
18 September 2006: GMPTE Travelshop in Eccles
15 September 2006: Metrolink Phase 1 & 2 upgrade
6 July 2006: Back on track
16 June 2006: Whitefield, a new park and ride with bus interchange
16 June 2006: Relief for Mosley Street points
29 January 2006: Shudehill Interchange


19 December 2006: Public Safety Officers for Metrolink

A new initiative to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour on the Metrolink system has been launched. GMPTA has hired a new security team to patrol the network throughout the day until the last service at night. From May 2004 the Bury, Altrincham and Eccles lines have been patrolled for the last eight hours of Metrolink operation each day.

The uniformed Public Safety Officers will work in partnership with Greater Manchester Police and ticket inspectors to improve safety and security for passengers.

Four teams of Public Safety Officers, from Carlisle Security, will patrol the network every day. They will be managed by the tram operator, Serco. Each team will be made up of two officers, who will patrol trams, stops and car parks on all three Metrolink lines.

Passengers can report incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour, which do not require an emergency response, by calling the police on 0161 872 5050.

14 November 2006: Metrolink Phase 1 & 2 upgrade

GMPTE have appointed Carillion Construction Ltd to replace nearly 20 miles of worn–out track on the Bury and Altrincham lines. The work will take place during Summer 2007.

GMPTE’s Interim Director General, David Leather, said: “The track on the Bury and Altrincham lines is more than 50 years old in some places and is rapidly approaching the end of its natural life. It’s noisy for residents and uncomfortable for passengers. It’s also making the service unreliable as the Metrolink vehicles need frequent repairs. We’re planning to carry out the work to replace track on the Bury and Altrincham lines during next summer when fewer people will be using the Metrolink network. We’ll be replacing the track in sections so that as much of the system can remain open as possible.”

The work to replace track on the Bury line is due to begin in May next year and to be completed by the end of September. Work on the Altrincham line is scheduled to start in July and to be finished by the end of August.

GMPTE will provide replacement bus services for Metrolink customers while the work takes place. It will launch a major information campaign early next year to make passengers and local residents aware of the plans.

9 November 2006: Metrolink Operation & Maintenance Contracts

GMPTE have completed a detailed evaluation of the bids from companies wishing to take over the operation and maintenance of Metrolink for the next ten years.

Keolis and Stagecoach have now been asked to submit their best and final offers for the operations contract.

Carillion and First Engineering have now been asked to submit their best and final offers for the infrastructure maintenance contract.

Keolis and Stagecoach have also been asked to submit their proposals for a contract which would cover both the operation and maintenance of Metrolink.

GMPTE will appoint the new operator early next year and it will start running the Metrolink trams from Spring 2007.

6 November 2006: Funding boost for ambitious transport plans

Greater Manchester authorities were today awarded GBP1.95 million government funding to look at strategic options for boosting public transport and cutting local traffic congestion.

These ‘pump priming’ TIF funds build on GBP1.25 million awarded in November last year, making a total of GBP3.2 million to help ensure the right investment package is developed for Greater Manchester’s local transport network.

From July 2007, local authorities will be able to submit bids for investment in packages of major projects, including light rail and busway schemes, on the condition that they investigate innovative ways to tackle congestion, including the consideration of charging options.

Greater Manchester authorities intend to submit a bid to the first round of funding in July 2007.

18 September 2006: GMPTE Travelshop in Eccles

A new GMPTE Travelshop and Supervisor’s office has opened at 108 Church Street opposite the Eccles Interchange.

Passengers will be able to buy a range of tickets and pick up free leaflets, maps and timetables. Travelshop staff are also trained in offering independent travel advice to help passengers plan their journey.

The Travelshop is open Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 1.15pm and 2pm to 4pm. It is closed on Sunday and on public holidays.

15 September 2006: Metrolink Phase 1 & 2 upgrade

In July 2005 the Department for Transport gave conditional approval for a GBP102m investment package of works. These were intended to increase peak capacity, to renew certain life expired parts of the infrastructure and to improve access.

GMPTE has split this package of works into five contracts, these will be arranged to obtain maximum benefit from the available funds. They will also lay the foundations for the planned extensions.

In December 2005 GMPTA approved the short–listing of bidders for four of these five contracts, which account for 95% of the total budget. See the 12 December 2005 Metrolink upgrade news item.

Expressions of interest in the fifth package (Ticket Vending Machines) were sought by OJEU notices on 23rd May 2006.

Eight new vehicles are required for the peak capacity improvements. Two types of Light Rail Vehicle were offered, both are existing designs which are slightly wider than the present units. Metrolink infrastructure will require some modifications. Detailed negotiations are underway to optimise these offers and make use of the potential increased buying power provided by the conditional approval of Phase 3A.

Offers from four potential operators are being assessed. Two of these will be asked to submit their best and final offers (BAFO). The successful company will then operate the system for a ten year period from Easter 2007.

Offers are also being assessed from potential infrastructure maintenance companies. A recommendation will be made at the same time as the operator BAFO.

There were three bids for segregated track renewal. One offer was clearly identified as best value for money, it also gave the shortest disruption. Final contract negotiations are underway, a recommended conclusion is imminent.

Eleven expressions of interest in the TVM replacement contract were received; seven were asked to submit further details, those are now being evaluated. This will pre-qualify four or five companies to prepare detailed bids.

The overall package remains within the original GBP102m budget.

6 July 2006: Back on track

Transport Secretary, Douglas Alexander, has today approved plans to extend the Metrolink network and track replacement on the existing system.

Expansion will in two stages. Phase 3a will be conversion of the existing Oldham and Rochdale rail line, building the lines to Droylsden on the Ashton-under-Lyne route and to Chorlton in South Manchester. Phase 3b will include town centre lines in Oldham and Rochdale, extending from Droylsden to Ashton-under-Lyne and building the lines on to East Didsbury and the Airport in South Manchester.

Phase 3a is approved today. Phase 3b will be a key part of the GMPTE bid, being submitted next year, for Transport Innovation Fund money. A successful bid will allow both phases to be delivered simultaneously.

GMPTE can now let contracts for the existing system renewal works.

16 June 2006: Whitefield, a new park and ride with bus interchange

Opened in June 2006 it consists of a new approach from Stanley Road including a footpath which have been built alongside the Manchester bound platform; the bus turning area and two high specification passenger waiting shelters at platform level; beyond this there are 127 car parking spaces including eight for disabled users, plus eight motorcycle stands, three cycle stands and five cycle lockers. High quality lighting and a CCTV system are provided for passenger safety and security.

The former bus interchange site, a retail warehouse building, a number of houses and a car park between Stanley Road and Elms Street are subject to redevelopment.

16 June 2006: Relief for Mosley Street points

When Metrolink was built this set of facing points was in the bus lane from Mosley Street to the Piccadilly Gardens bus stops. Since then the layout of the stops has been changed twice, giving the present arrangement.

Various works including moving underground ducting and traffic lights, providing new building attachments and a new traction pole, also removing an original traction pole have now taken place. This has enabled the bus lane to be modified so that buses no longer run over the point machine.

29 January 2006: Shudehill Interchange

Shudehill Interchange is now fully open. The tram platforms which opened on 31 March 2003 and the associated car park which opened recently are joined by the bus station.

Many of the bus services serving the north and west of Greater Manchester will be re–routed into the Interchange. Metroshuttle route 2, green, the free city centre bus is extended to Shudehill.

The Interchange offers travellers a safe and comfortable waiting environment with a newsagents and no–fee cash machine. Weekly and monthly travel tickets can be bought at the GMPTE Travelshop which also has a Photo–Me booth. Travelshop staff will give impartial advice on local bus, train and tram services.


News 2006: top of page

This page was written by Tony Williams, Manchester Area Officer, Light Rail Transit Association. Contact manwebm@lrta.org if you have any comments, ideas or suggestions about these pages.