The much anticipated Trafford Centre Metrolink opening date has been announced and trams will start using the line this month.
Delivered seven months ahead of schedule, Metrolink has revealed today that the £350m line is now complete and will launch to the public for use on Mothering Sunday, Sunday 22nd March.
The expansion of the line is most welcome, giving public transport users a quick and easy route to the intu Trafford shopping centre for the first time.
It will run from the existing Pomona Metrolink stop, through Trafford Park, terminating at intu Trafford Centre with six new stops.
The new line will run from the existing Pomona Metrolink stop, through Trafford Park, terminating at intu Trafford Centre with six new stops.
- Wharfside, next to Manchester Ship Canal and close to Manchester United Football Club
- Imperial War Museum North positioned by the world-renowned museum with access to MediaCityUK via the existing footbridges
- Village, on Village Way, near Village Circle and Third Avenue
- Parkway at the existing Parkway Circle roundabout. The stop will include a Park & Ride with spaces for approximately 200 vehicles
- EventCity by Barton Square and EventCity
- intu Trafford Centre
The line has been created to support Greater Manchester’s progress towards a London-style transport system, a vision for the region that was first set out in 2019.
Known as ‘Our Network,’ it is part of a ten-year plan from the Mayor’s office to create an integrated, modern and accessible public network that will encourage more people to use Manchester’s public transport.
It’s also hoped that the network will reduce congestion on the roads and improve the city’s air quality.
Metrolink is already the UK’s largest tram network, running to a total of 96km and 93 stops, but the new Trafford Park line will add a further 5.5km of track and six additional stops, bringing the total of stops in the area to 99.
As part of the Mayor’s ‘Our Network’ vision, further Metrolink extensions and the introduction of tram-train journeys are the focal points of future expansion plans.
Calling the line “a much-needed addition to the Metrolink network,” Andy Burnham praised the new line’s addition and fast completion, adding that the new line is “a great step towards that, and a shining example of what we can deliver with the right funding and powers.”
This refers to the fact that 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.
It’s expected to help develop the local economy in Trafford by providing easy access to some of the North West’s top retail and leisure destinations.
It’s also expected to provide access to thousands of jobs by opening up access to global brands such as Kellogg’s, Unilever, Missguided, L’Oreal and Adidas.
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.
“We’re very pleased to be welcoming passengers on board and opening up the Trafford Park area for workers, shoppers and visitors. I have no doubt it’ll make a huge difference to the area, particularly to the many local businesses.
“One particularly exciting partnership we’ve developed has been with intu Trafford Centre, and we look forward to growing our relationship in the years ahead.”
The Trafford Park Line will run through zone 2 and zone 3, with Parkway tram stop located on the zone border.