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Transport Boss: 'Price Freeze Down To Disruptions'

Metrolink fares will not increase until August 2015 as tram network undergoes major improvements

Written by . Published on December 15th 2014.


Transport Boss: 'Price Freeze Down To Disruptions'
 

METROLINK fares will not rise until August 2015, says Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.

"While these works will deliver significant long-term benefits for all Metrolink users and the wider city region, we do recognise that they can cause short-term disruption for some passengers."

The decision has been taken by Council leaders and transport bosses as substantial improvement works continue to cause disruptions for passengers across the 57.5 mile tram network.

MetrolinkMetrolink

There are currently major works underway at Victoria, Deansgate-Castlefield and throughout the city centre on the Second City Crossing (2CC) - which will see trams leave St Peter's Square and travel down Princess Street, Cross Street, Corporation Street and through Exchange Square to Victoria.

Once work expanding the Deansgate-Castlefield station draws to a close in summer 2015, a major new four-platform tram stop will be built in St Peter's Square.

A new Metrolink station is also planned for Exchange Square, which will see an island platform (similar to the Market Street station) open outside the Next store adjoined to the Arndale shopping centre.

The Second City Crossing is due to open in 2017.

The price freeze announcement follows an embarrassing weekend for Metrolink which saw almost all services suspended on Saturday 13 December during one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “A substantial amount of improvement works have already been carried out across the Metrolink network and we would like to thank our customers for their patience while these works have taken place.

“This transformation is, however, ongoing and while these works will deliver significant long-term benefits for all Metrolink users and the wider city region, we do recognise that they can cause short-term disruption for some passengers.

“In response to this we have taken the decision to freeze fares for as long as possible, which means there will be no price rises on paper products until August next year and no price rises through to 2016 for those people who adopt Get Me There once it becomes available.”

In January 2014, Metrolink fares increased by an average of 4.2%.

For more information visit www.transformationinformation.co.uk

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

AnonymousDecember 15th 2014.

Metrolink is shambolic and amateurish. The way the trams are run it is hard to believe that the financial affairs of the system are any more efficient. Those affairs should be fully investigated before any price rises are allowed.

AnonymousDecember 15th 2014.

August 2015 or August 2016 - title and article say different?!!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 15th 2014.

Plus the last sentence is an odd one as this also applies to January 2014 as well.

EditorialDecember 16th 2014.

Good spot. Changed. Thanks.

rinkydinkDecember 15th 2014.

According to Peter Cushing the weather conditions were "extreme and highly unusual." Yeah right. Someone needs to step in and take control of this absolute balls up of a service

Nick NameDecember 16th 2014.

The system is expensive and extremely unreliable. I love how people defend it. The people that do this more often than not are the ones who drive a car everywhere. The ones who are stuck on platforms in the wind, rain and snow think differently. I've recently used the tube, U Bahn/S Bahn and other forms or light rail all over Europe with total confidence. There were no cars involved in collisions. No ice bringing the system to a complete standstill, despite it being much colder in various places. There is always an excuse never an apology with Metrolink. How many of you would travel to the airport for your holidays on the Metrolink? There is noway I'd put my trust in it. It's stressful enough getting to the airport without lying in bed thinking is it a bit too cold for the Met to work. We should have an underground system. No problems with cars. No problems with ice. Doesn't sit at traffic lights behind cars. Doesn't stop running when a pub is set on fire. One underground line would be better than the complete Metrolink system.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

... and more expensive than the complete Metrolink system. Going underground would have been great if it had been constructed in the victorian era. You've got absolutely no chance of that now. Its a best fit system for Manchester, given the funding available, whether you like it or not. It might be unreliable in your eyes but have you commuted long-term on any of the systems you've mentioned?

Nick NameDecember 16th 2014.

I've travelled all over Europe using it. It's cheaper, cleaner, more efficient and with a much bigger capacity. That's why places like Rome, Milan, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Barcelona aren't clogged with hundreds of sparsely filled buses like Manchester is. If we had an underground system 90% of the buses we have would be off the road, and then we could have proper cycle lanes separate from the lanes used for traffic. But for some reason some have the attitude that we are not worthy of an underground system.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

Don't be silly Nick. It's nothing to do with whether we're "worthy" of an underground system - it's the reality that we are not going to get one, given that we already have an extensive light rial system. How on earth do you come to the conclusion that having one would take "90% of the buses" off the road? How extensive an underground network do you think would have to be built to achieve that goal?

Nick NameDecember 16th 2014.

As stated above. Much bigger capacity. That's why places like Rome, Milan, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Barcelona aren't clogged with hundreds of sparsely filled buses like Manchester is.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

Much bigger capacity where the line actually goes. That doesn't address the issue of still requiring buses where the line doesn't actually go. Despite its Metro, Barcelona still has an extensive bus network. As I say, rose-tinted glasses.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

A busy tram is such a great way to meet women don't you think?

dsbmancDecember 16th 2014.

We did get the Metrolink to get to the airport. Arrived at Chorlton stop at 7:07am. Next tram 7 minutes....nice! 40 minutes and lots of lies from Customer 'Service' about it being on its way it arrived. No service annoucements or anything. To top it off TfGM staff jumped on at next stop and shouted "Tickets"...I jokingly said we should get this for free as we'd been waiting for 40 mins..they flatly said "Not our problem, we work for TfGM"

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

And I do love the rose-tinted view that so many of the anti-Metrolink brigade have of underground systems - as though they're some sort of panacea that never experience problems. I was in Lisbon a couple of weeks ago, and ended up having to walk 25 minutes to get to my hotel from the airport, as they abruptly suspended the service with no more trains running. Underground systems don't work perfectly 100% of the time (try using the London Underground for an extended period of time), just as an overground light rail service doesn't.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Nick NameDecember 16th 2014.

Does it stop because cars drive in to it? Does it stop because it got a bit chilly in winter? Does it stop because a van has broken down in the road? Does it stop when a building is on fire? Have you used the tram during A United/City match? Have you used it during Parklife/large event at Heaton Park? Massively inadequate.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

Does it matter what the reasons are for disruption? The key thing is the overall picture of whether it works or not, and both underground and overground systems both have their negative points. Unfortunately, you only seem to be interested in playing up the negative points of an overground system at the exclusion of the rest of the discussion.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

And yes, I have used it at event times, and yes - it is extremely busy and there is often not enough capacity. A bit like some stations on the Tube being exit-only at peak times...because there are too many people for the capacity on offer. If you think travelling on the Metrolink at peak times is unpleasant, you should try somewhere like Clapham Common station at rush hour, which is downright dangerous. The Metrolink is far from perfect, but I really wish people like you would approach the issue with some sense of perspective. Stamping your feet about wanting an underground system isn't going to make it happen, nor does it mean it's the right thing for Manchester.

rinkydinkDecember 16th 2014.

The trams don't run to schedule, customer service staff lie about the whereabouts of trams, they fail for no good reason (cold weather and a burning pub is not acceptable) and obstacles take too long to clear. They can't help idiots driving into the tracks but they can surely get rid of them quicker than they do. They're too expensive and are too packed at rush hour. They need to add carriages

AnonymousDecember 17th 2014.

I would imagine that removing vehicles that have driven on to the tracks is not something that is solely down to TfGM/Metrolink.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

Underground? You lazy bugger! You can walk from Piccadilly to Castlefield in 15 minutes and Oxford Road to Bridge Street in 20 minutes. The city's easliy walkable. Get off your arses!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Metrolink FailsDecember 18th 2014.

Yeah an underground, so when 75,000 are at Old Trafford or 50,000 at City or 100,000 at a Heaton Park gig or any of the 22m who fly from Manchester Airport don't want to be left on a platform listening to lies about the next tram because some muppet has crashed a car and is blocking the line or the overhead cables are a bit cold, they can still get around the whole of Greater Manchester like you can in other similar sized cities with an underground system. The hashtag metrolink fails is widely used in the Greater Manchester area on Twitter and its not because its a great system. It's going to be very embarrassing when people from abroad start missing flights because the Met let them down as it has been letting commuters down for years.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2014.

I think the metrolink is great and reliable but the customer services attached to it is awful. Particularly the whole "we don't have a timetable we have a frequency, so your tram isn't actually late" excuse, which they trot out every time something doesn't show up when it should. If they treated their customers a little better and improved in the quality and flow of information to passengers they wouldn't get such a bad rep. Its no surprise that there wont be much of a fair increase, inflation is lower so there is less money they will be missing out on by not doing this, plus with two extended periods where passengers from the south and west of the city wont be able to get past deansgate asking for more funds wasn't going to be realistic.

AnonymousDecember 19th 2014.

But the If the tram is so terrible why is it so crowded. Surely Manconners are too posh to travel on a poor system for the poor. Let them use cars and Uber. and enjoy the increasing gridlocks while getting full value from their in car entertainment systems. Incidentally the tram system is run by the the state run Paris equivalent of Northern Rail.

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