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Metrolink late-night tram service extension could benefit 33% of Greater Manchester’s workforce

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has said its decision to extend tram services out from Manchester city centre in the run up to Christmas could benefit around 33 per cent of the city region’s workforce.

Timetable changes announced by TfGM this weekend would see trams on Friday and Saturday night run from St Peter’s Square until shortly before 2am from November 23 to December 22.

Services to Bury would run until 1.42am, while the last service to Altrincham would leave at 1.49am.

The last service on the East Didsbury line would leave at 1.48am. The last service would be 1.39am to Eccles, 1.16am to Manchester Airport, 1.26am to Rochdale and 1.34am to Ashton.

Metrolink’s busiest lines – the Bury to Altrincham, Ashton to Eccles and East Didsbury to Shaw and Crompton lines – will also run for up to two-and-a-half hours later in the evening – until 9pm, TfGM said.

All currently run until approximately 8pm on weekdays and 6.30pm on Saturdays.

TfGM said the move will benefit more than 400,000 people that work in the city’s late-night economy – around 33 per cent of workers in Greater Manchester.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, said: “I am committed to improving Greater Manchester’s transport system and one of the things I want to see is later running public transport.

“I’ve been working closely with TfGM and Sacha Lord to look at how we can improve night-time transport and help people get home quickly and safely after work or after a night out.

“So, I’m really pleased we can introduce these enhancements, which will be a welcome boost for the many people that will be working, shopping or socialising over the Christmas period.

“We will be closely monitoring the uptake to help inform our long-term plans, and ensure we have a transport system that works for everyone.”

Employment in the night-time economy has grown 45 per cent faster in Greater Manchester since 2001, compared to the economy as a whole, TfGM said.

In a roundtable discussion held last month, Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester’s night-time adviser, said the survey to scope public opinion of evening and late-night tram services garnered one of the largest responses to a survey TfGM has ever had.

Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham with night-time advisor Sacha Lord
(Image: Manchester Evening News.)

TfGM said close to 11,000 people responded to the survey.

Lord said: “I am absolutely delighted to see TfGM extend the Metrolink service during the festive period.

“Accessible and safe public transport is vital to a thriving night-time economy, for people going out and for the hundreds of thousands of people in Greater Manchester who work at night.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to all of the people who responded to our recent night-time transport survey, and told us of your experiences of travelling at night, and also the Metrolink staff who will be working to ensure we can all take full advantage of this fantastic later night transport offer.”

Customer services representatives and TravelSafe officers will work during the extended hours, TfGM said.

The move follows the recent extension of free city centre buses, provided by TfGM and Manchester city council, until midnight.

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