Metrolink prepares for Oldham line opening

Metrolink has started testing the new Oldham Mumps to Shaw & Crompton line with the first tram crossing Oldham Mumps ahead of services potentially starting early in the New Year.

Cllr Dave Hibbert, Oldham Council's cabinet member for transport and planning, said: "The sight of trams crossing Mumps is a landmark, not just for this project, but for the wider changing face of Oldham and the regeneration of the town centre.

"It's great to see the infrastructure for this line now in place. It's vital now that the right testing takes place to ensure the safety and reliability of the service."

TfGM is working towards opening the new line to Shaw & Crompton first, which would not cause delay to opening the line to Rochdale Rail Station. Services to Rochdale Rail Station are expected to open a few months later as further work is still required relating to the control system and commissioning.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: "The progress we're now making on the extension to Shaw & Crompton and Rochdale Rail Station is positive and welcome and within the timescales we've been working to.

"The sight of the first tram crossing Oldham Mumps was an historic moment and a sign of things to come.

"That said, there are still some significant challenges involved, not least a very thorough period of testing and commissioning – and the weather conditions will also be a factor.

"So the work in the coming weeks and months will be crucial to maintain the programme so that people in Derker and Shaw & Crompton can benefit from the arrival of Metrolink early in the New Year."

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Cllr Andrew Fender says ‘within the timescales we’ve been working to’. No it isn’t, its very, very late ! Wasn’t it supposed to be last year? Then spring this year, then delayed a few months, then November, now the new year.They must think we are idiots! If labour want our votes, they must stop their cllr’s lying and poorly attempting to take people for fools. I welcome the new metrolink, but its been a long time coming and temporary transport promised has been abysmal. Another vote labour have just lost.

By dean