Metrolink Airport line records 1.88m journeys in first year of service
Posted: 3 November 2015 | Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Intelligent Transport
Transport for Greater Manchester celebrates success of its Metrolink Airport line following 1.88 million journeys logged in first full year of service. The Metrolink Airport line celebrated its first year of service on 03 November 2015 with 1.88 million journeys completed since its launch. The 15-stop line was completed a year ahead of schedule at […]
Transport for Greater Manchester celebrates success of its Metrolink Airport line following 1.88 million journeys logged in first full year of service.
The Metrolink Airport line celebrated its first year of service on 03 November 2015 with 1.88 million journeys completed since its launch.
The 15-stop line was completed a year ahead of schedule at a cost of £400 million by the MPT consortium, formed of Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Thales. According to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) construction of the line was one of the largest locally-funded transport projects of its kind and has been recognised by four industry awards.
The line has brought economic growth to areas adjacent to and beyond the nine miles of track that runs through the south of Manchester including the town of Wythenshawe.
Wythenshawe Town Centre Manager, Jeff Jackson explains: “Since the line opened we’ve seen footfall increase by between eight and 10 thousand people a week and this has attracted new businesses to the centre.
“With Metrolink and the new interchange people have got accessibility to the Airport and wider Manchester area, offering them increased job and leisure opportunities.”
Almost 60km of rail track was used to construct the line, which uses 670 overhead poles to power the trams. Twenty-eight tramway/highway junctions were either newly installed or modernised; a 337 metre-long viaduct was constructed over the River Mersey and two 580 tonne motorway bridges were installed over some of the busiest sections of urban motorway in the country.
Peter Cushing, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, said: “The Airport line has been hugely successful, delivering improved public transport and access to employment, business, retail and leisure opportunities, as well as education and healthcare.
“Part of its charm and success stems from the recruitment drive that ensured jobs went to local residents: people with knowledge and passion for their communities as well as the Metrolink network that serves them.”
TfGM Committee Chair, Councillor Andrew Fender, added: “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from residents’ right along the Airport line, who’ve seen their local communities rejuvenated.
“Businesses are thriving in outlets that at one time stood empty. Home owners have seen the value of their homes soar and job opportunities are increasing all the time. All this is testament to the fact that the successful delivery of major projects like the Airport line goes well beyond simply helping people get from A to B.”