More frequent trams will be included as part of some big timetable changes being made to Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network this summer.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has confirmed the introduction of more off-peak services from next week – as the network experiences increased use.
From Monday 5 July, Metrolink trams will run at least every 12 minutes all day – cutting off-peak wait times by eight minutes on average.
A six-minute service will operate on the busiest lines at the busiest times.
TfGM said the timetable changes were being made as more people continued to take “leisure trips” across the region.
Passenger numbers remain lower than pre-pandemic levels, however. On average, around 60,000 trips are now being made on the Metrolink every day, compared to around 125,000 a day before COVID.
The network is also set to maintain a “flexible approach” to the use of double trams across the network dependent on where “they are needed most”.
Safety measures such as hand sanitiser dispensers at the busiest stops, enhanced cleaning, flexible ticketing options, and ‘trambassador staff’ will remain in place.
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.”
Vaughan added: “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 Metrolink timetable changes is available online.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons