Changes on the way in St Peter’s Square

9 July 2014  •  Author(s): Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport leaders in Greater Manchester have been consulted on the next major phase of Metrolink’s transformational Second City Crossing programme.

Work to deliver the new tram line through Manchester city centre, which will increase capacity and resilience in the system, will require changes to Metrolink services through St Peter’s Square starting next summer.

This major construction scheme will transform the area’s stop by relocating the existing stop to allow for greater public space in the main area of the square.

This will require two new island platforms to be created and two sets of existing track to be replaced with four sets of new track through the new stop.

Improvements will also be made to public and pedestrian areas to complement Manchester City Council’s flagship redevelopment of the square.

From next summer, the stop will close for around 14 months.

In a similar operation to the current Victoria stop closure, single line running will be introduced for 10 months to allow vital engineering works to be carried out as quickly as possible – while minimising disruption for passengers by maintaining a service through the city.

There will be two eight-week periods, either side of the single line running, where all tram services through St Peter’s Square will be temporarily suspended.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has briefed members of the TfGM Committee and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) around a year ahead of any changes coming into effect.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee said: “This is a massive project that requires significant changes and will, unavoidably, come with a level of disruption.

“Given the location and the work involved there is no easy way of delivering this scheme. Both the scale and complexities involved – set against the importance of maintaining services through the city – mean this is the best possible option.

“The alternatives would have required a much longer complete closure to passenger services, and the plan enables passengers to keep moving around the city for as long as possible to employment, shopping and events.

“Having the summertime closures – when the holiday period is in full swing and services are quieter – either side of the single line running means we can instead get everything done as quickly as possible whilst maintaining a service through the city.

“The reward is the completion of the Second City Crossing: greater capacity through the city centre which, in turn, gives us a much more flexible and dynamic network that will allow us to run additional and more frequent services to meet ever-growing demand.

“For example, the completion of 2CC will enable us to extend operation of the recently announced airport service into the city centre.”

The redevelopment of the Deansgate-Castlefield stop will be complete before the changes at St Peter’s Square come into effect and will provide a turning point for trams south of the city centre, during the closure and the single line working.

The new line, due 2017, 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 also will be built in Exchange Square.

For more information on the Second City Crossing programme, visit www.transformationinformation.co.uk.

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