Manchester City Council

Big Bang

Talking about Metrolink and what has become a collection of medium-sized bangs, but with the same endpoint as the original Big Bang, a greatly enlarged network adding Ashton, Rochdale and Oldham Town Centres, Didsbury, Manchester Airport and Wythenshawe to the destinations served.

Last Friday saw the commitment of  £26m for the utilities and advanced design work for the Wythenshawe line, and the start of the OJEU process for letting the construction contract. This morning I join Transport Minister Sadiq Khan on a very cold Piccadilly Gardens tram platform, where he arrives to announce government approval of £120m of funding for the Droylsden to Ashton and Chorlton to Didsbury sections, which means progress is now being made on every part of that original Big Bang concept.

There are 10 responses to “ Big Bang”

  1. Bamboo Says:

    That's really good news. Will we keep it after the election though?

  2. bicolouredpythonrocksnake Says:

    Sounds almost like Plan B!

    Adding Didsbury to the network will make a big difference as having to negotiate Wilmslow Road on the bus every day (especially in September) must be awful.

  3. CB Says:

    Great news about the Metrolink but there has been rising discontent for a number of years now about the quality of the actual operation of the Metrolink service, especially for commuters. Jam packed trains and poor customer service have become the norm for many commuters. Although the further lines should be continued it would be great to see some investment in greatly improving the currently running services. Being jam-packed onto a tram twice a day shouldn't be the norm for a civil, 21st century society.

  4. KD Says:

    Maybe if people would have voted yes for the TIF the £1.2bn grant and £1.5bn loan could have paid for some nice new carriages for the trams and better quality more frequents buses on more routes.

    Oh well - missed opportunity for manchester unfortnuately!

  5. dave Says:

    Reference KD

    Missed chance with the Tif. Sadly your slightly mistaken the £1.5 billion was authority to borrow from the money market the money. So come on lets get the council to borrow the sum over a twenty year period and buy one or two carraiges for the Metro. Come come 73% of Greater Manchester voted against it thats double the percentage that will vote in this election so the people did speak?

  6. Head of David Says:

    Indeed, KD. Well done to the selfish Manchester residents who voted 'No' on the TIF, thereby missing out on a huge subsidy for public transport and helping to maintain the frankly shocking standard we are stuck with for the foreseeable future. Thanks. Thanks a bunch.

  7. i love jack russels Says:

    I too am one of the unhappy regular tram users and CB is right about the rising discontent. Their latest stunt happened to me when, after the ticket machine swallowed all the money I had on me and gave me neither a ticket or a refund, I had to press the customer 'service'intercom button on Crumpsall station. Their only response was to say I had to phone them up and buy a ticket with a credit or debit card, and write in to claim back the money swallowed by the machine. This assumes that I have both a phone and debit/credit card on me, and that I am happy to hang around the platform reading out my card details for any interested bystanders, as well as delaying me and ALL due to their malfunctioning machine. As someone who relys on public tranpsort, I voted a wary 'yes' in the TIF, and I too am puzzled by the apparant Plan B now under discussion. But KD - the TIF proposal didn't neccessarily offer extra trams or carraiges on existing routes, although this is desperately needed.

  8. Dan Says:

    Yeah, shame on you Greater Manchester Residents. You should have all voted yes blindly when no accurate financial projections were ever released. You should have voted yes when no promises were given from the PRIVATE bus companies that they would increase buses on the heaviest routes. You should have voted yes and mortgaged this cities future for 30 years for what essentially amounts to a bribe. You should have voted yes to pay to drive to work and home again despite serious concerns from local businesses that this would reduce their competitiveness. Shoulda Woulda Coulda. Very Gladya Didn't.

  9. Richard Leese Says:

    Not sure what the point of going over TIF is but as some of you are let's at least get the facts right. The proposals were fully costed and did include extra trams for existing routes.The government grant would have been £1.5 billion, not a loan, and extra carriages for the railways would have been provided seperately by the Department for Transport.Fast forward to today, the current expansion of Metrolink, still largely paid for by city-region residents only now out of your Council Tax, also includes extra vehicles for existing lines, some of which are now coming into service.

  10. Dan Says:

    Thanks for the clarification Sir Richard. It was my understanding that the majority of the funding was comprised of a loan payable at market rates. The rest was a 'grant' which was dependant on Manchester introducing congestion charging. I stand corrected. I do disagree strongly however, that the proposals were fully costed. All costings were predictaed on an expected increase in traffic through the centre, paying the charge to pay back the loan (again, I thought that the majority of the funding was a loan). No accurate, independant figures were ever released that filled me with the confidence to vote yes. I rasied my concerns at all stages through the relevant channels but the informaiton required was simply not made available. If I'd have known that there was no borrowing element, I might have voted differently.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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