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Metrolink Director Apologises For Delays

Peter Cushing apologises 'unreservedly for the level of service'

Published on August 5th 2013.

Metrolink Director Apologises For Delays

Statement from Transport for Greater Manchester's Metrolink Director, Peter Cushing,​ regarding the disruptions that have taken place in recent days across the city's tram network, particularly during The Ashes third test on Saturday which left thousands stranded:

I would like to apologise unreservedly for the level of service that has been provided on the Metrolink network in recent days.

I can fully appreciate how frustrating it must have been for passengers who have had to face disruption over several days, and how angry people are about it – feelings that I wholeheartedly share.

That we have left people wanting at a time when the world was watching Greater Manchester with the arrival of The Ashes has only heightened a deep sense of disappointment.

People expect a high level of service when they use the network and in recent days they have had nowhere near that standard.

We planned carefully for what was always going to be a very busy and very challenging period for the network. Several thousand cricket fans were expected to use Metrolink to attend The Ashes at the times of day when it is already at its busiest.

Bury tramThere'd been a fault on the Bury line on Saturday

The challenge was to deliver a service that kept regular passengers moving just as much as visitors attending the match.

We provided extra double trams between Piccadilly and Altrincham and from East Didsbury to specifically cater for this additional demand, but several events affected the operational plan.

In short, the whole spectrum of events that can affect the Metrolink network all came to pass in the space of four days. Each was a separate, unconnected incident during the busiest period of the day and each one had considerable knock-on effects for passengers across the network.

On Wednesday, a pensioner tragically died after stepping in to the path of a tram at Freehold. Services on the Oldham-Rochdale line were suspended for several hours.

On Thursday, city centre services were suspended following a collision between a car and tram on Mosley Street. Then there was a fault with an overhead power cable on the Bury line.

Metrolink: 'frustrating'Metrolink: 'frustrating'

On Friday, a police incident on High Street in the city centre, involving a woman threatening to jump from the roof of the Arndale, affected all city centre services and, in turn, the whole network.

On Saturday, a signal failure at Cornbrook caused delays and a points fault affected a tram entering the depot, blocking the Bury line. The track repairs required for the latter unfortunately had an effect on services on Monday morning.

It has been an incredibly challenging period and, at times, we failed to rise to that challenge. We failed to keep passengers informed and support them fully through the disruption, which is unacceptable.

That we have left people wanting at a time when the world was watching Greater Manchester with the arrival of The Ashes has only heightened a deep sense of disappointment.

Together with the operator, MRDL, we will be reviewing every aspect of the past week and will be taking action to improve. We are incredibly proud of the Metrolink network and will be working tirelessly to ensure our passengers can be as well.

If anyone’s journey has been affected in recent days, I would encourage them to contact our Customer Relations team with details by emailing customer.relations@tfgm.com.​

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

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

What's the point in contacting the "customer relations" team? My experience is that they fob you off and do nothing to change anything. Are they actually providing any sort of compensation, or is this some kind of "listening exercise"?

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

QUOTE; "The whole spectrum of events that can affect the Metrolink network all came to pass in the space of four days." But shouldn't that "whole spectrum of events" (that can bring such large sections of the network to a halt) have been considered before Greater Manchester ever opted for this system? Because they are just always going to occur again & again & again, aren't they? There is never going to be a solution, is there?

SimonAugust 6th 2013.

Re the incident in which a pensioner was tragically killed by a tram, why should the line have been closed for several hours because of it? What happened during the 'several hours' which did anything but cause inconvenience to the living? Sorry to sound callous but a long suspension of the service is completely unnecessary in cases like this and I suspect the only reason for the long delay was a misjudged sense of respect for the dead rather than any real operational reason.

SimonAugust 6th 2013.

...and whilst we're on about the Met, it's miles too expensive. How can a journey on a Manchester tram cost more than the equivalent journey on the Underground in London? We need twice as many trams and a halving of the fare and then this transport method will have a real impact on travel to our city.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

Whole heartedly agree Simon - it is far too expensive considering the amount of delays and issues on the lines. What is the money spent on? It's certainly not on the 'signals'

Barry MaginnAugust 6th 2013.

Such a good point. I've said it many times before. The fares are criminal and crippling. How can a trip to Alty cost £6.20 return when I can get across Paris for 80 cents? I've heard rumours about Peter Cushing's salary that might explain it. It's a blight on the whole city.

Steve McCroskeyAugust 7th 2013.

Both Paris and London have subsidised systems. In Great Britain (outside of London), public transport is paid for on a 'user pays' basis - construction and maintenance costs must be found from the fares coming in

Barry MaginnAugust 7th 2013.

Lack of subsidy doesn't explain just how expensive the trams are. Or public transport in Manchester in general. Hugely inefficient. I've never been to a city with such costly fares (particularly outside UK). Could be the massive bureaucracy the TfGM is. Perhaps start the cost reductions by scrapping your Twitter which simply ignores complaints.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2013.

The lack of subsidy explains exactly why they're so expensive. It's not rocket science.

Barry MaginnAugust 8th 2013.

No, lack of subsidy + inefficiencies = why so expensive. I'm sure there's many cities in the world with better value public transport that aren't subsidised. It's not rocket science.

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

A woman threatening to jump from the roof of the Arndale, brought the WHOLE NETWORK to a halt???

1 Response: Reply To This...
tblzebraAugust 6th 2013.

The Police completely closed off High Street, which meant no trams could pass. Not much that Metrolink could do about it.

Jonathan MoranAugust 7th 2013.

removing what I felt was a good point on the service.....how odd. It's like 1970's East Germany this place at times.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2013.

Mosley Street seems to be a frequent collision location with cars. I saw it several times when working there a couple of years ago. Methinks needs some street layout changes or whatever to reduce the risk

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