Burnham cracks the whip on Metrolink

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has asked Transport for Greater Manchester and operator KeolisAmey to submit monthly reports on the performance of Metrolink, following criticism of the way incidents and delays have been handled and communicated.

Of greatest concern recently has been the overhead power line issues that caused severe delays and discomfort for passengers on 19 and 20 February in the evening peak travel period, a report into which has now been completed and made public.

The monthly reports will provide statistics on performance across the Metrolink network, including punctuality and cancellations, giving the public a means of monitoring service standards on an ongoing basis.

Burnham has asked for immediate improvements on customer communications so that they are as quick and accurate as possible across all channels, including social media, websites, on-stop announcements and drivers or staff updating passengers on trams and stops.

He said: “The Metrolink system is a great asset to our city region and we should all be proud of it. However, it is not immune from technical problems, which at times have been serious breakdowns and which have not been handled as well as they might.

“On this basis I have asked TfGM to publish the report which has been done so that everyone can find out the facts for themselves. I have also asked that they now publish a monthly report detailing operational performance.

“I am grateful to all Metrolink staff who have worked hard to correct recent problems and deal with the bad weather. But, as Mayor, it is my job to ensure Metrolink is accountable to its paying public and that is why I am introducing this new performance regime.”

The first monthly performance report will be published at the end of April.

Stephen Rhodes, customer director at TfGM, said: “TfGM is absolutely committed to keeping Greater Manchester on the move. We are taking steps to enhance the customer information we provide and will be working closely with our partners to ensure customers are kept up to speed when there are issues.”

TfGM said that its control room will become a 24-hour operation in the near future.

The first meeting of the Mayor’s transport board is set to take place on 26 March. Members will include the Mayor, Sir Richard Leese and representatives of TfGM, Highways England, Network Rail, Northern Rail, Transpennine Express, Stagecoach, First, Arriva, Metrolink, Transport for the North and the Department for Transport.

The board will provide the Mayor with the opportunity to scrutinise the performance of all transport operators in the region. This will include rail and bus operators, who currently are not required to formally report on any delays or issues at a Greater Manchester level.

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Avoid the Metro, as is over priced and unreliable..WE DESERVE BETTER!!!

By Schwyz

Schwyz is right.Money for old rope.We need an Underground Andy Burnham not a Toytown railway which is slower than walking through the city centre.Devolution must mean we control our own transport.

By Elephant

The tram is pretty good and reliable. A city zone pass works out £20 a month, which I find very reasonable. Impressed this most recent fault was fully rectified within 24 hours.

By Town Planner

A City Zone pass is pointless, as can walk or get the free bus. the cost per mile is absolutely shocking to medium to long journeys. It is definitely not reliable and the 6% increases coming year on year will do absolutely nothing to improve the service. Metrolink even tried to blame the weather for another break down last week on the bury line to avoid giving out refunds again as they did on 19/20 Feb. Lining their pockets and not improving capacity or services. Manchester deserves better.

By Insane

Having used the car for 25 years with ever increasing car park charges I`ve used the Met from Altrincham for 12 months which on the whole has been very reliable and is a lot cheaper than central parking/plus car running costs.

By Real Deal


By I now use my bike.

Correct real deal. I also used the Metrolink for a number of years but now drive and park in the city centre following a house move. I can confirm, the Metrolink is significantly cheaper than driving, and significantly quicker if travelling from Altrincham. That said, the peak time service needs more capacity and on the odd occasion when it does break, total chaos follows. Improve the reliability of the service and those who live on it’s path will have a great alternative to driving.

By Raptor

When will the escalator operating at Bury Interchange. It has not been working for around one year.
No-one seems to care!

By Barry Drelincourt

Agree with a lot of these comments. The Metrolink is a great thing but they need to improve and update existing services, lines and number of services before ploughing money into a new line out to the Trafford Centre.

By NQ Resident

To “Insane”: a city zone pass isn’t pointless for me. In fact, I use it every day. The free bus doesn’t cover the same route.

How much more than 6% do you propose is needed to improve the service?!

Lining whose pockets? Do you mean when the weather was sub-zero across the region?

By Town Planner

Town planner if it works for you it works for you. People are saying on here that it is not fit for purpose for them and I have to agree. The escalator at Bury station has been out of order forever. The stations are dirty and neglected. I have been looking at the same tin can at Whitefield station for six months.The cost is outrageous. Every time there is a weather or other issue the whole system grinds to a halt. Why would six foot of snow in Oldham affect people in snow free Sale? The trams are full of fare dodgers and idiots who spoil peoples’ journeys on a regular basis. The company has not dealt with the safety of customers with any real improvements. The pathetic machines for taking fares are the same as the ones they had on the London Underground in 1980 when I first visited it.The reason why so many people dodge the fare is because it takes half your life to get a ticket and then you have to wait another twenty minutes for the tram you have just missed going to the destination you want. You can walk quicker through the city centre if you are relatively fit. I thought Devolution meant that we were now managing our own affairs? Why are we being held to ransom by the company who mismanage our Metro?

By Elephant

I used the tram for nearly three years and at least twice a week I had to find a different way of getting to work because I couldn’t physically fight my way onto the full trams. That meant having to then pay for parking or a taxi or get a bus and be even later. Once or twice I was actually pushed over by people behind me trying to get on. It might be okay if you’re getting on at the start of the line in Altrincham, but I had no chance – have now swapped to the bus, which saves me more than £20 every week although it does take an extra half an hour. At least I don’t have to deal with people physically pushing me around every morning!

By Stretfordian

I agree with Town Planner, the City Zone pass isnt useless – you can get across town a lot quicker than using the free bus, which is limited in its routes plus sometimes you need to get two buses which is pointless!

By CitySpotter

TP – Glad the city zone works for you, you will have to use it every day to get decent value for money out of it I’m sure… I’m sure walking is fine too over short distances, try using your city zone pass between Victoria and market st in the mornings. Clearly I am insinuating that the bosses of M/link are lining their pockets at the expense of fare paying passengers with no attempt by management to address any of the things that Elephant has suggested above, these things frustrate and annoy on a daily basis. Compared to any other tram system in the UK or Europe the met is really poor and hideously overpriced. your experience of a £20 city zone ticket is a very blinkered view of the network I am afraid.

By Insane

Elephant: “The pathetic machines for taking fares are the same as the ones they had on the London Underground in 1980 when I first visited it.”

They’re not. They were replaced in around 2012 from the paper-based ones to train-style ones, and take contactless payments… if you’ve used one before can buy a ticket in less than 30 seconds, which is enough time between seeing the tram approaching and the doors closing, at most stops.

Appreciate the picture is different further out, but I think some readers need to appreciate Metrolink is generally a well-functioning system, and that is despite its very rapid expansion.

By Town Planner

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