31/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 12:02

Track ripped up in revised plan for Oldham Metrolink

Category: England

Published: 10th Mar 2010 09:18:56

Millions of pounds of three-year-old track is to be ripped up as part of an upgrade of the Metrolink services in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

Tram track which was laid in 2007 will be destroyed to make way for an £84m extension of the network.

The 2.4km (1.5 miles) line, called 3A, between Werneth and Oldham Mumps will be replaced by new track.

Council leader Howard Sykes defended the decision saying they were left with little choice.

It was hoped 3A and the new line, 3B, could continue to operate alongside each other, but it has now been confirmed that when the town centre line opens in 2014, that section of line 3A will not be used and it will be ripped up.

Futuristic exchange

The revised plan, which was worked out by the council and Greater Manchester Public transport Executive (GMPTE), was a necessity, according to Councillor Sykes.

He said: "We've looked long and hard whether you can keep both, but it would cost a lot of money that we haven't got.

"Also you wouldn't get the frequency of the trams - because you would be sending them round different routes and the timings are different.

"You wouldn't get the patronage Metrolinks needs to get which is does get with the trams every 12 and six minutes."

As part of the Metrolink development, Oldham Mumps station, which is losing its historic canopy, will undergo a makeover.

Tram bosses are awaiting approval for a "futuristic" transport interchange, which will also provide park and ride facilities, to replace the old station.

Councillor Sykes said: "It is admittedly regrettable that a one-and-a-half mile stretch of 3A will not be running an express route as we had originally hoped.

"GMPTE were emphatically clear to us, however, that it was logistically impossible to keep trams running concurrently on both lines.

"Once 3B is operational through Oldham town centre, that stretch of 3A will be decommissioned but we have been assured that the associated costs will be kept to a minimum and that - wherever possible - all equipment or materials that become redundant will be reused on the network or recycled."

The plans form part of a £1.5bn transport expansion scheme agreed by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) executive.

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BBC News, 2010. Track ripped up in revised plan for Oldham Metrolink [Online] (Updated 10th Mar 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/43255/Track-ripped-up-in-revised-plan-for-Oldham-Metrolink [Accessed 31st Jul 2014]

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