A Metrolink tram

New Manchester tram lines to open from 2011

Rachael Tinniswood

The Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive has revealed that the first of the new tramlines will be open in Greater Manchester by spring 2011.

The new Metrolink line is expected to be open to trams running between Manchester and Central Park, and those running to St Werburgh's Road in Chorlton by spring 2011.

Trams are also due to begin running to Oldham Mumps by autumn 2011, and to Rochdale and Droylsden by spring 2012.

Construction work on the new £382m Metrolink extension, for which plans were approved last month, is due to start early next year.

The new lines will cover almost 20 miles, introducing a further 26 stops.

If the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities decides to accept the government's Transport Innovation Fund package, extensions to Ashton-under-Lyne, East Didsbury, Manchester Airport, and Oldham and Rochdale town centres will also be built, as well as a new line to Trafford Park and the Trafford Centre.

Philip Purdy, GMPTE's Metrolink director, said: "The new Metrolink routes will make it much easier for people living and working in the county to use public transport, and bring major benefits to the local economy."

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