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<b>Monday 2 November:</b> Trams back on track, cyclists get freedom of the city and ambulance has a lock-in

Published on November 2nd 2009.

THE CITY’S TRAM SERVICES ARE “OPEN FOR BUSINESS” after a £22m upgrade. As a ‘thank you’ for putting up with repairs, Councillor Pat Karney said the council would be offering two days of free travel for users, with one of the days expected to be a Saturday. The months of work saw Metrolink tracks being replaced and the platforms at St Peter’s Square and Piccadilly Gardens have been refurbished. Further details about the free travel days will be revealed later today.

OLYMPIC CYCLING TEAM HAS RECEIVED the freedom of the City of Manchester. The 37-strong team were given the accolade to mark their "outstanding performances" at the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics in 2008. The cyclists, based at the Manchester Velodrome, picked up 14 Olympic and 20 Paralympic medals. Manchester City Council leader, Sir Richard Leese, said the cycling team “are fantastic ambassadors for the city”.

A PENSIONER WAS LOCKED IN AN AMBULANCE for five hours after the driver forgot about him and went home. The 65-year-old man was stranded at Sharston ambulance station, Wythenshawe, with the alarm only being raised by worried care home staff. The NHS has apologised and a staff member "was suspended with immediate effect”.

M&S STAFF ARE ON TRACK TO SHARE A £60M bonus pot following an improved performance by the group. The M&S group is expected to confirm this week that it has beaten internal performance targets during the first half of its financial year, leading to a £30m bonus pot already being set aside.

This ‘N’ That wisdom: You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Taken from the free calendar available at This 'n' That, Soap Street, Northern Quarter. Wisdom rating 6/10

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

somewhat anonymousNovember 2nd 2009.

THE CITY’S TRAM SERVICES ARE “OPEN FOR BUSINESS” - HA! What a steaming shower of shite that is. The work on the station and tracks at Piccadilly Gardens didn't finish until 5am this morning, an hour before the trams were due to start running. I use the word 'finish' in a loose manner - the Piccadilly Gardens tram stop hasn't even been entirely built yet meaning you can't actually get onto it from one side. The coin slots on the new ticket machines are slightly too narrow to take pound coins leading to huge queues of people stuck behind panicking people thinking they've lost their money - the staff's solution was to poke the coins in with the corner of a timetable and 'hope the slots widen over time' - ! And due to the work on the tracks themselves being completed so late, Metrolink didn't have time to test the trams on the part of the line going through the Piccadilly Gardens stop itself, leading to massive delays all day because the trams were running so incredibly slowly. It took me three times longer to get to and from work today than it did when I had to walk all the way across town to get a tram. It would literally have been faster for me to walk home, indeed the tram was going so slowly through town that we were constantly overtaken by pedestrians. Ridiculous! I really hope Metrolink get fined for not completing the work on time and for providing such a horrendously unimproved service, it's the least they deserve.

tomegranateNovember 2nd 2009.

Where was it said that the new trams were gonna be ready for the re-opening of the stations?

Dave NelsonNovember 2nd 2009.

I had a great Sunday lunch at The Mark Addy yesterday anyone else been yet? Good to have ROB back!

DescartesNovember 2nd 2009.

Where are the new trams we were promised?

somewhat anonymousNovember 2nd 2009.

Also yes, Descartes, where the hell are those new trams? Presumably they got the timing on that wrong too. And notice that the Mosley Street tram stop was never upgraded despite having 7 months in which to do so - did they run out of time or just forget as they're so incompetent? Expect more closures and delays soon so they can do the 'finishing touches'! And it's so kind of them to offer a whole day's free travel... on a Saturday, thus avoiding offering a free day to all those weekday commuters who have no choice but to use the tram and pay for it, despite these being the people who have suffered the most. Such a kind gesture from Metrolink... but what else could we expect really? If they were serious about offering free travel by way of apology, they'd offer free weekend travel for the rest of the year to all single/return ticket buyers, and offer all season pass holders a free four week ticket, to make up for all the crap we've been forced to endure pretty much since the trams first started running...

somewhat anonymousNovember 2nd 2009.

Ok that's fair enough, I thought they'd said they were going to be but apparently not. But after looking into it more, I'd rather they don't bother - there's going to be 60 seats per tram as opposed to the 87 we currently get, which already isn't enough. Despite there being less seats, the maximum capacity on the new trams will only be 206 people as opposed to the 250 at present. What's the point? How's that an improvement? Are they hoping that if they carry on screwing up they'll put so many people off using their system that they won't need as much capacity as they have now?

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