Good news for city centre workers and those out partying over Christmas.
Metrolink customers will have reason for a little extra Christmas cheer, with additional and later running trams set to operate throughout the festive period.
From November 23 until December 22, Metrolink’s busiest lines will run a six-minute service for up to two-and-a-half extra hours* in the evening, until 9pm – allowing customers to take advantage of increased capacity and more frequent services.
Trams will also continue to run at least an hour later** on Friday and Saturday nights.
As well as giving people enjoying a night out on the town a chance to catch a later tram home, a spokesman for TfGm said the move will be a boost to some of the 414,000*** people that work in jobs or businesses at night – around 33 per cent of Greater Manchester’s workforce.
Employment in the night-time economy has grown 45 per cent faster in Greater Manchester since 2001 compared to the economy as a whole.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:
“I am committed to improving Greater Manchester’s transport system and one of the things I want to see is later running public transport.
“I’ve been working closely with TfGM and Sacha Lord to look at how we can improve night-time transport and help people get home quickly and safely after work or after a night out.
“So, I’m really pleased we can introduce these enhancements, which will be a welcome boost for the many people that will be working, shopping or socialising over the Christmas period.
“We will be closely monitoring the uptake to help inform our long-term plans, and ensure we have a transport system that works for everyone.”
The Christmas season is the busiest time of year for Metrolink – an additional 300,000 passenger journeys are made during December (approximately 10,000*** extra trips a day) compared to the annual monthly average.
A recent survey about night-time transport across Greater Manchester saw almost than 11,000 people respond.
Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, said:
“I am absolutely delighted to see Transport for Greater Manchester extend the Metrolink service during the festive period.
“Accessible and safe public transport is vital to a thriving night-time economy, for people going out and for the hundreds of thousands of people in Greater Manchester who work at night.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to all of the people who responded to our recent night-time transport survey, and told us of your experiences of travelling at night, and also the Metrolink staff who will be working to ensure we can all take full advantage of this fantastic later night transport offer.”
The move complements the recent introduction of later running free bus services in the city centre. The service is provided by Transport for Greater Manchester and Manchester City Council and serves some of Manchester’s most popular destinations until midnight.
Customer Services Representatives and TravelSafe Officers will continue to work during the extended hours to help customers on their Metrolink journeys.
Guillaume Chanussot, Managing Director of KeolisAmey Metrolink, said:
“KeolisAmey Metrolink is pleased to be supporting Greater Manchester’s night-time economy over the busy festive season.
This is an excellent opportunity to work with our partners and stakeholders and deliver a great service for our customers.”
Details of the enhanced timetable will be available here from November 17.
*Services that will run until 9pm are below. All currently run until approximately 8pm Monday – Friday and 6.30pm on Saturdays.
- Bury – Altrincham
- Ashton – Eccles
- East Didsbury – Shaw and Crompton
**Example of last services below. St Peter’s Square (SPS) tram stop used for illustrative purposes.
|Last services (from SPS)
|To Bury (change at Victoria)
|To East Didsbury
|To Rochdale Town Centre
*** GM’s cultural and leisure offer (as well as the retail sector and infrastructure supporting this) account for about 44% of employment in the NTE (181,000 jobs). 24-hour health and social care accounts for 32% (132,000), and other night-time economic activity (eg manufacturing and logistics) account for 24% (101,000).
Also published on Medium.