Manchester’s ‘transformational’ Second City Crossing has now opened, providing the final piece of the 'expansion jigsaw' for the city’s Metrolink tram service.
The latest 1.3km stretch of track through the city centre opened on Sunday (26 February), linking a network of 93 stops, with over 60 miles of track.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), which owns the Metrolink network, said the new line will offer new links and more frequent trams through Manchester city centre, as well as improved service reliability and greater operational flexibility.
The mayor of Greater Manchester, Tony Lloyd, said: ‘Metrolink is one of Greater Manchester’s great success stories, driving urban regeneration and now hosting some 37 million journeys a year across the city region.
‘The Second City Crossing will play a key role in helping even more people get to work, shopping, leisure and culture destinations right across the 93-stop network. We’re now another step closer to our ambition of a world class transport network for Greater Manchester.’
TfGM Metrolink director Peter Cushing said: ‘I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved with our partners over the last eight years as we’ve expanded the Metrolink network to become the largest light rail system in the UK.’
The first phase of the Second City Crossing opened from Victoria through to a new stop at Exchange Square in December 2015. The new link runs from a major new stop at St Peter’s Square along Cross Street to stops at Exchange Square and Victoria.
Work on a new tram line to East Didsbury in December 2009, marked the start of a £1.5bn expansion programme that has seen the Metrolink network grow to three times its original size. New lines to MediaCityUK, Rochdale via Oldham, Ashton and Manchester Airport followed.