Metrolink timetable boost for passengers this summer
Metrolink passengers are set for a service boost this summer, with the introduction of more frequent off-peak trams to cope with increasing demand.
From Monday 5 July, trams will run at least every 12 minutes across the network all day, representing a significant enhancement to the current 20-minute off-peak frequency.
In a further boost, and to increase capacity in the areas where it is most needed, a six-minute service will operate on the busiest lines at the busiest times – and later running trams will once again be in place across the weekend.
The changes are the next step towards returning a ‘normal’ pre-pandemic service and are being made in response to a rise in the number of leisure trips being made – which will continue throughout the summer – and to meet and support the increased demand expected from the move to step four on the government’s road map and full return of hospitality.
With patronage growing at different rates across the region, the changes will be closely monitored, and a flexible approach to the use of double trams will be maintained to ensure they run where they are needed most. All available trams will be put into service, including the new ones as they are commissioned.
A range of safety measures intended to keep people safe when using Metrolink will continue to remain in place, including hand sanitiser dispensers at the busiest stops, enhanced cleaning, flexible ticketing options, dedicated ‘trambassador staff’ and TravelSafe Partnership ‘days of action’ – to promote safe travel and engage with passengers about coronavirus rules and guidance.
Transport for Greater Manchester’s Head of Metrolink, Danny Vaughan, said: “While patronage is still someway off pre-pandemic levels, our traditionally busier lines are the ones where we are seeing the biggest increases and these changes not only mean we can cater for this demand now, they enable us to meet future growth.
“We will monitor our passengers’ travel patterns closely and continue to be flexible in our approach, ensuring our services and trams support people as they return to work, the shops, bars and restaurants and major events.”
TfGM has introduced a “corridor management” approach to managing travel demand across the network. In addition to monitoring Metrolink patronage closely, TfGM monitors traffic movements, bus, rail, and highway performance across the network and works closely with industry partners when planning improvement works or responding to live incidents, ensuring motorists and public transport users can keep on the move.
On average, around 60,000 trips are being made on Metrolink every day, compared to around 125,000 a day pre-pandemic, whereas the numbers of people using the region’s roads has almost returned to ‘normal’ levels (c5m every day compared to 5.4m before March 2020).
Danny Vaughan, added: “It’s no surprise that car use has outstripped public transport during the pandemic, as people were actively discouraged from using our buses, trains and trams.
“Like other operators, we have worked hard to ensure Metrolink is as safe as possible for people to use and the measures we have introduced, coupled with the ongoing investment in infrastructure mean we can provide frequent and reliable services and give people the confidence to switch back from their cars – something that’s really important as we look to reduce the number of car trips being made in order to cut congestion and improve air quality for us all.”
Further information about the timetable change is available at www.tfgm.com/metrolink-timetable-change.
Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office
0161 244 1055
Notes to editors
Media contact: 0161 244 1055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the public body responsible for delivering Greater Manchester’s future transport strategy and commitments.
We also deliver a wide range of day-to day public transport and active travel services and projects to keep the city-region moving and growing.
With around six million journeys a day, we’re working hard to make travel easier through a better connected and well-informed Greater Manchester. To find out more about TfGM please visit tfgm.com/about-tfgm.