Travel to the Trafford Centre is set to get easier as the Metrolink line to the shopping centre got the government’s go-ahead.
The Metrolink line will take shoppers to the mall by 2020, following Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s green light.
Mr Grayling has granted Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) legal powers to build the new 3.4mile (5.5km) line under a Transport and Works Act order.
Work on the £350m line is underway and it is expected that the line will be operational by 2020.
The new Trafford Park line will increase the size of the Metrolink network, to more than 66 miles (106.5km) served by 99 stops.
It will branch off from the existing Pomona stop and call at six new stops at key destinations. The stops include the Imperial War Museum, Trafford Park Village, Parkway, Eventcity and the intu Trafford Centre.
TfGM, which owns the Metrolink network, has developed plans for the Trafford Park line.
The delivery of the line will provide a major public transport boost for the area, offering fast, frequent transport links for thousands of workers in the area and better connecting people to business, leisure and retail opportunities.
Trafford Park itself is the largest major employment zone in Greater Manchester outside the city centre. It is home to over 1,300 businesses and more than 33,000 jobs – with employees travelling from across Manchester and beyond.
The majority of the new route is not on roads to ensure faster, more reliable journey times.
The funding package to build the line was secured by Greater Manchester Combined Authority through the ‘earn back’ funding arrangement. This is all part of the Greater Manchester devolution deal.
A big step forward
Interim Mayor of Greater Manchester Tony Lloyd said the announcement is “another big step forward for Greater Manchester”.
“This new line will boost our economy and bring us closer to our goal of a world class transport system for Greater Manchester. I look forward to seeing the first shovel in the ground this winter”.
Trafford Council Leader, Sean Anstee, said the news would bring more opportunities for his borough.
“Excellent transport links are vital to make Greater Manchester as attractive as possible for businesses to establish themselves here and, with them, more jobs and apprenticeship opportunities”, he said.