Transport Minister opens new Metrolink depot

15 July 2010  •  Author(s): Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority

Transport Minister Norman Baker met Greater Manchester’s transport leaders today to open the newly-extended Metrolink tram depot at Queen’s Road.

Norman Baker

Norman Baker

The £10.5 million extended depot will provide stabling and maintenance facilities for part of the network’s growing Metrolink fleet of trams, which will increase from 32 to 80 as part of the ongoing Metrolink expansion.

Completed on budget and without disruption to the operation of Metrolink services, the main depot works have been carried out by Stagecoach on GMPTE’s behalf.

The depot will include new maintenance berths with improved access, a new stores building, more stabling sidings to increase the depot’s total capacity to 44 trams, and workshop equipment to allow the iconic new yellow-and-silver trams to be maintained.

Mr Baker said: “People who work and live in Manchester rely on Metrolink everyday to get from A to B, and if the city is to continue to flourish further expansion is absolutely essential. That is why we were pleased to reconfirm extensions to East Didsbury and Ashton-under-Lyne a few weeks ago. It also confirms that Manchester and its needs are firmly on the radar of the Coalition Government.

“Today’s announcement is yet another step forward in supporting extensions across the network and further proof that Metrolink is going from strength to strength.”

Councillor Keith Whitmore, Vice-Chair of GMITA, said: “We are delighted to have the Minister here to open our new extended depot, which is part of the major programme of expansion works currently underway on the Metrolink system.

“The lines to Oldham and Rochdale, Chorlton, MediaCityUK and Droylsden are already taking shape, and last month the government gave us the excellent news that it would agree to fund the next phase of the expansion to Ashton and East Didsbury.

“In the current economic climate, we are particularly pleased that the value of the scheme has been recognised.” Andy Morris, Managing Director of Stagecoach Light Rail, said: “We worked hard to complete this work on time and on budget and are very pleased with the result. The new extension is an excellent addition to our facilities and will have a very important role to play in ensuring we can maintain the fleet of Metrolink trams in an efficient manner and that we can continue to provide passengers with a high-quality, safe and reliable service.”

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