Metrolink services will continue to run across the city during the upcoming closure of St Peter's Square tram stop, under plans agreed by Transport for Greater Manchester on Friday.
Members of the TfGM committee considered several options before agreeing tram service patterns while the city centre stop is rebuilt as part of the Metrolink Second City Crossing programme.
Work is due to start this summer to move the St Peter's Square stop closer to the Art Gallery, allowing room for greater public space as part of Manchester City Council's redevelopment of the square.
The expanded stop will have two new island platforms and four sets of track, meaning more trams and more frequent services can run through the city.
During the 14-month work programme, the stop will be closed but trams will continue to run on a single line through the square for 10 months, minimising disruption for passengers by keeping services running through the city.
There will be two eight-week periods during the quieter summer months in 2015 and 2016 either side of the single line running when all tram services through St Peter's Square will be temporarily suspended.
The following services will run on a single line through St Peter's Square from September 2015 to June 2016:
- Altrincham to Piccadilly, 12-minute service with double trams
- Altrincham to Cornbrook, 12-minute service with single trams
- Bury to Piccadilly, 12-minute service with single trams
- Bury to East Didsbury, 12-minute service with double trams
- Eccles-MediaCityUK to Deansgate-Castlefield, 12-minute service with double trams
- Rochdale to Ashton-Under-Lyne, 12-minute service with single and double trams
- Manchester Airport to Cornbrook, 12-minute service with single trams
Plans are also currently being developed for replacement bus services during the stop closure to ensure good access to the city.
Peter Cushing, TfGM's Metrolink director, said: "This is undoubtedly a major piece of work and the task for us is to minimise the impact, as far as possible, on our customers and the service we offer them.
"We've planned carefully and the service pattern agreed today will allow us flexibility to maintain reliable, frequent tram links across the city while we deliver a hugely challenging and complex construction project."
Work will start at St Peter's Square this summer directly following the redevelopment of the Deansgate-Castlefield stop which is underway, and will provide a turning point for trams south of the city centre.
The Second City Crossing line is due in 2017. The line will begin in Lower Mosley Street and run through St Peter's Square, turn down Princess Street and head along Cross Street and Corporation Street before re-joining the existing Metrolink line at the expanded Metrolink Victoria stop.
In addition to the transformation of the Deansgate-Castlefield, St Peter's Square and Manchester Victoria stops, a new stop is being built in Exchange Square.
Trams could be running between Victoria and Exchange Square by winter 2015/16, midway through the St Peter's Square work, which will allow more frequent Metrolink services to run between Shaw & Crompton and the city centre.