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Airport Metrolink Extension To Start This Month

Groundwork planned for South Manchester route

Written by . Published on August 9th 2011.

Airport Metrolink Extension To Start This Month

Work on the Metrolink extension to Manchester Airport is expected to start this month.

The new line will run through South Manchester, leaving the track at at St Werburgh’s Road and passing through Northern Moor, Baguley and Wythenshawe.

“We are also committed to doing as much as we can to mitigate against disruption of flora and fauna during the construction of new Metrolink lines."

Ground levelling work in the Mersey Valley area, near Sale Water Park, will form the first part of the works.

Councillor Andrew Fender, head of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “Given the fantastic response we’ve had from people about the recent opening of the south Manchester line, we are very enthusiastic about the benefits the airport line will bring to everyone in Greater Manchester and beyond.

“The start of this work is an exciting development on the new extension, and we’re looking forward to people being able to use a Metrolink service that provides a direct link to the airport – one of the biggest employers in the region.”

TfGM Metrolink director Philip Purdy said: “Given that this work is about preparing the area in advance of laying the new track, some excavators and large machinery will be used.

“We will keep any disruption to a minimum, carrying out work during normal working hours from Monday to Saturday, and our team will be keeping people updated with progress.

“We are also committed to doing as much as we can to mitigate against disruption of flora and fauna during the construction of new Metrolink lines.

“As part of our environmental responsibilities, our contractor MPact-Thales has carried out a number of ecological surveys throughout the area.”

TfGM is also currently consulting on a second Metrolink city centre crossing.

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

Mr JohnAugust 9th 2011.

Who will ever use this line to the airport? This will be a white elephant. Just like the Didsbury extension. Why when you can get a train from East Didsbury which takes 15Mins would you catch a tram to Manchester. The same from the airport, take a quick train or slow tram around manchester.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Joe LucasAugust 11th 2011.

The lines are not really designed for people who live in East Didsbury itself, or those who wish to travel from Manchester Airport into the city centre. They are intended for the many people who live inbetween. ie. Didsbury Village, West Didsbury, Withington, Wythenshawe, Baguley etc. Metrolink from Didsbury to the city centre is a VERY positive development IMO, especially for people who have to face the busy, frustrating trip into town on the 42 bus through Fallowfield and Rusholme

ChorltonianAugust 9th 2011.

So people living in Salford, Chorlton, Sale and Wythenshawe should get a bus/taxi to East Didsbury and then get the train to the airport?

Alex ForsythAugust 9th 2011.

Mr John - The Didsbury extension is well worthwhile since it will be a regular (every 10-12 mins or so service), clean and running into the evening, when the existing train service runs once an hour at best. However, I would also dispute whether extending the Metrolink to the Airport is sensible, given it is already well served by a regular rail service.

SquirrelitoAugust 9th 2011.

@ Chorltonian: People in Salford would be more likely to nip to Crescent station for a 15 minute train ride to the airport. Calling it the airport line as TfGM and the media do is a red herring really, its more to link Wythenshawe into the local network and the line just happens to go out as far as the airport.

paulAugust 9th 2011.

I have a mental picture of me going to the airport on a tram with all the cases and the kids.I think I will stick to a taxi.

Mr JohnAugust 9th 2011.

There are two trains per hour from East didsbury to both the airport and Manchester. There are buses every two mins in rush hour, So I cannot see why someone would go the long way round on the tram taking say a 25 to mins journey, it just does not add up. Trains from the airport to Manchester evry 10 mins? If the tram went say via Wythenshawe hospital then maybe . Just seems to me when you see other citys that our tram system is poor.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Matt WilsonAugust 9th 2011.

Erm, what other cities have a better tram system? OK, maybe those in Europe, but most of those have been operating for a long time. If you think our is poor, surely that is why we are making it bigger and better?!
The trams aren't all about getting to the airport or getting to the city. They're also about connecting the places between or beyond. Sure, you can get a bus from didsbury to town, but most bus routes connecting places within south manchester are slow and unreliable in my experience.

Mr JohnAugust 10th 2011.


Sheffield, The Newcastle Metro, Leeds ( forget the London underground) have a good system too. Our problem in this city is that we do not have an intergrated system. I am all for Public transport but the fact is that the Metrolink is just not good enough. Ask any of the people who use it daily. It is expensive unreliable. I used it on saturday from Pic station and still they do not have next train indication. Having used it weekly I find it dirty ( sometimes) and noisy. Maybe the new operators may improve things, Let see. But I do belive for all the money we have spent on this system it should be far better. Or we should invest money on intergation of current transport schemes.

Matt WilsonAugust 10th 2011.

Leeds doesn't have trams does it?; Having lived in Sheffield for 5 years I can say that the supertram has very limited coverage of the city really and there are no plans to extend it as far as I know; I'll give you the newcastle metro though:)
I agree with you that it could be much better and hopefully the new operators will push this forward, but I really don't think it's as bad as some people like to think, and the expansion is in no way a 'white elephant'. If we could compare the expanded metrolink in a couple of years time to what we had say two years ago, then surely that will be a massive improvement, a huge step in the right direction at least?
It is a bit expensive but the buses are far worse value - £4.00 return (off peak) on the tram to town and this would cost me £3.80 I think on the bus, which would take 3 times as long - that's not terrible in comparrison.

AnonymousAugust 10th 2011.

I agree, Who'd want to take the long route to the airport when you can get a train! Its better off connecting Stockport and the Airport, there's only a loooong bus connecting them currently!

Ernest SimonAugust 10th 2011.

Talk about missing the point! Typical suburban parochialism. The link will help the people of Wythenshawe (which has historically always been shamefully under served by public transport) to travel in to town to work or shop or to the airport - Many of the airports workers live in Wythenshawe.
Contrary to what most of you seem to think the Metrolink isnt all about the getting the annoying people of Chorlton and Didsbury to the airport for flights you know!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Mr JohnAugust 11th 2011.

Like I said why did the route not take it to wythenshawe hospital. And I agree transport should be improved, The Didsbury extension is a white elephant ,My partner will use it to Chorlton to get work. But I would still prefer the money to be invested wisely.

Mr JohnAugust 11th 2011.

As I said in a earlier post, why did the tram not go to Wythenshawe hospital? My issue is the money that will be spent could bring other and better transport improvements to all areas, The link to Didsbury will be a white elephant. Sure my wife will use it to get to work in Chorlton. But would I use it to go to M/c a big NO. The rtram repleaced heavy rail and goes across a city which at best is a 20 min walk.

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