Droylsden Metrolink line to open in February

The new Metrolink line to Droylsden in Tameside will open to passengers on 11 February, several months later than originally planned, Transport for Greater Manchester said.

The new 3.9-mile section to Droylsden will have eight stops: New Islington, Holt Town, Etihad Campus, Velopark, Clayton Hall, Edge Lane, Cemetery Road and Droylsden.

Journeys from Droylsden to Manchester Piccadilly will run every 12 minutes initially and will take around 20 minutes.

Residents from Clayton to Droylsden will be able to use the new line for free over the three days leading up to the launch.

The line was due to open in the summer this year but in March TfGM said it would be the end of this year, but that target will also be missed.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the TfGM Committee, said: "We're now entering the final stages of the programme for the new line to Droylsden, which means we're getting ever closer to that landmark moment when we open the doors to passengers for the first time.

"The progress we've made so far on testing and commissioning has been encouraging, but it's now clear that we'll not be able to open for service before the year is out as the tram management system being delivered by Thales has not been available within the prescribed time frame.

"While it's disappointing to be seven weeks beyond the revised target, we're confident we'll be opening the line in February thanks to the interim solution put in place by TfGM. This arrangement is similar to those developed by TfGM which enabled the opening of the South Manchester and Oldham lines."

The new line runs from the existing Metrolink stop at Manchester Piccadilly through Ancoats, New Islington and Beswick in east Manchester. It runs under Great Ancoats Street, through Holt Town towards Etihad Campus and the velodrome.

From here, between Clayton and Droylsden, it runs on-street along Ashton New Road and Manchester Road.

Services starting at Droylsden will run on through Manchester city centre, calling at Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street, Shudehill and Manchester Victoria, before serving all stops on the Bury line.

Passengers will be able to connect with Altrincham and Eccles line services at Manchester Piccadilly, and with Chorlton and Oldham line services at Market Street.

The line to Droylsden is already being extended by a further 3.8km to Ashton-under-Lyne town centre, providing additional stops at Audenshaw, Ashton Moss, Ashton West and Ashton-Under-Lyne. This section is due to open in winter 2013/14.

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