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Manchester to Trafford Park

History

Trafford Park was once a green, tree-covered estate, complete with historic house, ornamental lake and roaming deer. It had been the ancestral home of the de Trafford family for generations. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, massive changes were about to take place. A determined campaign for the Manchester Ship Canal was underway. The fourth Sir Humphrey de Trafford was a staunch opponent of the proposed Canal. His son, Sir Humphrey Francis de Trafford, was not so opposed to the Ship Canal. In 1896 he put Trafford Park up for sale.

The Estate was purchased by a company promoter, Ernest Terah Hooley, a colourful character renowned for his business ventures. Wasting no time he formed Trafford Park Estates Ltd with the new company being registered on 17th August 1896. Proposals for use of the site changed as a result of a meeting between Hooley and Marshall Stevens, General Manager of the Manchester Ship Canal Company. As a result the Trafford Park industrial Estate was developed.

Above information from Canal Archive: Bridging the Years see Trafford Park – The Early Years.

Decline and regeneration

In the 1960s employment in the park began to decline as companies closed their premises in favour of newer, more efficient plants elsewhere. The UK government declared an Enterprise Zone for part of Trafford Park, along with Salford Quays. Unfortunately this did little to reverse the decline. Trafford Park Development Corporation was formed in 1987 to assume responsibility for an Urban Development Area that included Trafford Park and Salford Quays. This development corporation was successful and the park is once again a major centre of employment in Trafford

Statutory powers to construct and operate a Trafford Line Metrolink extension were first acquired under the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) Act 1992 and the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) (Trafford Park) Order 2001. Total private sector funding was required. This line was included in the TIF bid proposals, which were rejected in the December 2008 referendum. In a post-TIF scheme prioritisation exercise, the line was excluded from phase 3b.

New Trafford Line Route

The nature and location of developments within Trafford Park have changed. TfGM developed a ‘Reference Scheme Alignment’ which has been revised to maximise benefits and serve key demand centres. Then an Outline Business Case was made for the line. Funding will use the Earn Back model part of the Greater Manchester City Deal.

TfGM ran a major public consultation from July to September 2014, on the plans to build this line. Following this consultation, the route was modified slightly.

The consultation results were reported to the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee and Greater Manchester Combined Authority; TfGM sought formal approval to make an application for a Transport and Works Act Order. The application includes a Transport Assessment and an Environment Statement for the scheme.

On 11 November 2014 TfGM applied for powers under the Transport and Works Act 1992. They were granted on 13 October 2016.

TfGM’s consultation web pages have now been removed. Metrolink Trafford Park Line is the new web page.

The following description is based on information published for the consultation and TWA Order application.

Route Description

trafford line diagram (7.6KB)

See City Centre for a description of Victoria, Piccadilly, Deansgate–Castlefield and the lines between them; also City South from Deansgate–Castlefield to Pomona. On the diagram light green represents operating Metrolink route and stops. Trafford Park line is shown strawberry.

Starting at the existing Pomona stop the route is approximately 5.5km long and has six new stops. It provides a link between Manchester City Centre and the employment and regeneration areas of Trafford Park and the Trafford Centre retail and leisure complex. The majority of the new route is on segregated alignments alongside roads with signal controlled road crossings.

Pomona

This is an island platform stop at the south–western end of the Pomona viaduct. It has a lift and stairs linking platform and ground levels.

Where the Eccles line turns right to cross over the ship canal, the Trafford Line continues straight ahead and then descends to ground level. A former dock railway segregated alignment, which crosses under Trafford Road and is fenced off from the existing footpath will be used.

Wharfside

Trafford Wharf Road, between the northern end of Sir Alex Ferguson Way and eastern end of Victoria Place also Wharf End itself will be closed to road traffic. Sir Alex Ferguson Way will become one lane in each direction, with a new two way link to Victoria Place. There will be an east to north connection from Wharfside Way to Sir Alex Ferguson Way. All the Sam Platt’s buildings will be demolished.

Wharfside stop will be largely on the grounds of Sam Platt’s with some on the pavement and road surface of the closed part of Trafford Wharf Road.

The revised alignment continues west through the site of Wharfside Business Centre; then behind 76 Trafford Wharf Road using part of the wide path alongside the southern bank of the Manchester Ship Canal; then passes through the plot east of Quay West.

Imperial War Museum

This stop is off–street between Quay West building and a slightly realigned Trafford Wharf Road. South of the Imperial War Museum the route continues along a segregated alignment in the centre of the carriageway before turning left into another segregated alignment on the west side of Warren Bruce Road. A turn back siding facing Manchester between inbound and outbound lines, with walk way alongside, for four single or two double trams, is proposed here. This will enable an increased service frequency on match days.

Village

Crossing Village Circle; the off–street route continues along north side of Village Way. Village stop is east of Third Avenue. The junction of the northern part of Third Avenue and Village Way is closed to vehicular traffic and a turning arrangement provided.

Parkway Circle

Parkway Circle will be remodelled into several signal controlled junctions; to improve traffic operation and accommodate the tram route with Parkway stop. A Park and Ride facility, include blue badge bays, is proposed near to Parkway tram stop.

EventCity

The route continues on a segregated alignment west of Park Way, crossing the Bridgewater Canal on a new structure. It turns right; running off–street to the north of Barton Dock Road. Peel Circle is to be converted to a signal controlled junction. West of this junction will be EventCity tram stop which is also near to Barton Square.

Trafford Centre

Then the alignment crosses to the southern side of Barton Dock Road; running in a segregated corridor and terminating at the Trafford Centre stop, near the Selfridges entrance.

A number of access points along the route will be closed, with alternative access points provided.


Trafford Line: top of page

This page was written by Tony Williams. Contact manwebm@lrta.org if you have any comments, ideas or suggestions about these pages.