Trams on the brand new £350m Trafford Park Line will start operating from April, subject to final testing and driver training, the Mayor of Greater Manchester has announced.
The new line will have six new tram stops, offering sustainable transport links to some of Greater Manchester’s busiest visitor destinations including Old Trafford Football stadium, Imperial War Museum North, EventCity and intu Trafford Centre.
It will also run through Trafford Park, one of Europe’s largest trading estate and home to more than 1,300 businesses employing over 35,000 people.
The Trafford Park Line will add to what is already the biggest light rail network in the UK, bringing the total number of Metrolink stops to 99.
Public support for the Trafford Park line was established at a major public consultation in summer 2014, where 89% of respondents were in favour.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “With Metrolink we are once again able to demonstrate a track record of delivering major schemes on budget and ahead of schedule.
“TPL was the first project to benefit from the devolution deal and is a shining example of what we can achieve with the right powers and funding.
“There is no doubt it is a blueprint for how Greater Manchester could run other transport systems in the future and represents a key step forward on our journey towards a more integrated, London-style transport system.”
Reflecting on the significance of having Metrolink extending further into Trafford, Cllr Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council and Green City Region lead for GMCA said: “The opening of this new tram line will be hugely important for the local and regional economy. Trafford Park provides jobs for thousands of people as well as attracting millions of visitors a year who come to enjoy the many leisure opportunities that are available. That’s why it’s important that we will soon having trams linking some of the most iconic visitor destinations in the North West.
“Also, it’s just as important for our efforts to create a greener region as it will offer a real transport alternative to people who would otherwise be driving their cars to watch Manchester United play or visit places like the Imperial war Museum.”