Trafford Centre to have a Metrolink

Richard Furlong - City Surveys Group

Home » Trafford Centre to have a Metrolink

Published: 2nd November 2016

This Article was Written by: Richard Furlong - City Surveys Group


Manchester residents and shoppers hoping to reach the city’s super-mall, the Trafford Centre, via public transport were given good news this month, with the go-ahead for the construction of a £350 million extension of the Metrolink tram network to Trafford Park.

With the approval of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, Transport for Greater Manchester can now commence work on a project that has been years in the planning – and something locals and visitors have demanded almost from the opening of the Trafford Centre back in 1998. It is hoped work on the new line will start immediately, to be completed by 2020-21.

Trafford Park is already the largest centre of employment outside of the city itself, providing over 33,000 jobs for Greater Manchester residents and serving as a base to more than 1,300 businesses – not just the high-street retailers of the Trafford Centre, but several major leisure and national companies too, including Chill Factore indoor snowdome and Kellogg’s cereal manufacturer.

Once the new Metrolink extension comes into service, workers in Trafford Park will enjoy a direct and faster morning commute, with the route ferrying shoppers to and from the Trafford Centre throughout the day. Currently workers and visitors have to rely on cars and buses for their journeys.

A spur will be constructed from the Metrolink stop at Pomona – where the existing line enters Salford Quays – creating serving several new stops including MediaCityUK, The Lowry and the Imperial War Museum North in addition to Trafford Village (for the Trafford Centre).

With the addition of the new line, Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network will cover over 66 miles of routes with just under 100 stops, from the Trafford Centre to Manchester Airport and East Didsbury to the south of the city, and out to destinations including Bury, Oldham and Rochdale to the north.

Although some sections of the network – especially in the city centre – travel along roads, the new spur will mostly be a standalone route, ensuring that journeys are not disrupted by other forms of traffic.

Tony Lloyd, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Today’s announcement is another big step forward for Greater Manchester. I’m delighted that our long-held ambition to build a new Metrolink line through Trafford Park is now about to become a reality.

“Our new Trafford Park line will connect people across Greater Manchester to thousands of new job opportunities as well as offering fast, frequent and sustainable links to some of our city-region’s greatest sporting and cultural venues, not to mention the Trafford Centre.

“This new line will boost our economy and bring us closer to our goal of a world-class transport system for Greater Manchester. I look forward to seeing the first shovel in the ground this winter.”

From its branch at the Pomona Metrolink stop, the Trafford Park extension will pass underneath the Trafford Road Bridge, and run alongside Manchester Ship Canal via the existing promenade, joining Trafford Wharf Road at the far end.

After a left turn onto Warren Bruce Road, it will bear right onto Village Way and then Parkway, crossing the Bridgewater Ship Canal and then taking a right onto Barton Dock Road to terminate at the intu Trafford Centre.

Its six new stops are due to be called Wharfside, Imperial War Museum, Village, Parkway, EventCity and Trafford Centre.

Over the past few years, £1.5 billion has been invested into expanding Metrolink, both outwards to East Didsbury and Manchester Airport, and also with the current work to create a second route across Manchester city centre.

These efforts have tripled the total size of the network to a current 62 miles and 93 stops, making it the UK’s largest light rail network with over 35 million passengers each year.

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