Will the Metrolink run to MediaCityUK from Monday?

MediaCityUK logoIt was reported by Place North West earlier this week that the Metrolink extension to MediaCityUK is to open on Monday next week (20th September). GMPTE’s Metrolink director Phillip Purdy is quoted saying that six trams an hour on weekdays will be calling at the new stop, between 7am and 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 6.30pm on Saturdays.

“Trams will start to call at the new Media City UK stop from Monday as an additional stop on the existing Eccles line service.

“This will allow the new service to ‘bed in’ before the next phase of service is introduced at a later date. We’ll be putting on extra trams to make sure trams still run every 12 minutes, and journey times between Media City UK and Eccles will take a few minutes longer.

“The new service will run to Media City UK for set periods of the day. We’ll monitor services and use and will introduce the next phase of service when it’s appropriate.”

Diverting the existing Eccles service via MediaCityUK in this first phase may not be popular with passengers from stops along Eccles New Road who already find journey times to the city centre similar to those of the 33 bus which takes a more direct route. The “next phase” mentioned is likely to be the well-publicised shuttle service between Cornbrook and MediaCityUK, following which we’d expect the daytime Eccles service to revert to its original route. Evening and Sunday services to MediaCityUK are expected to operate as an additional stop in the existing Eccles-line timetable.

Despite the report, there hasn’t been any official confirmation or publicity from GMPTE or Metrolink as yet. We suspect they may be hedging their bets in case of problems arising over the weekend – over which contractors will surely be busy adding the finishing touches. Several of the new M5000 trams have already been out and about this week wearing “MediaCityUK” promotional decals. It’s likely that the renaming of G-MEX Metrolink stop to Deansgate–Castlefield will occur at the same time.

UPDATE (20/09/10, 0913): trams have been reported running to “Eccles via MediaCityUK” – looks like the new line opened on time this morning

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About James McCollom

Web geek and public transport user
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9 Responses to Will the Metrolink run to MediaCityUK from Monday?

  1. Watcherzero says:

    Weve heard this date from drivers and people with Media City flats for a while before the Purdy comments, still lack of publicity isnt encouraging and theirs going to be a lot of confused people on monday if they do it without notification.

    One thing that may make it more likely however is new maps have started appearing on ticket machines yesterday: http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx61/Johnny_de_Rivative/100_7733.jpg

    • I debated whether to hold off on posting until after the fact, given there’s currently only the single quotable source. Maybe we’ll hear something from GMPTE later today – no prior warning and a Monday morning launch sounds like a recipe for “chaos”. Thanks for pointing out the photo of the new map – looks good!

  2. Shaun says:

    No mention on the GMPTE/Metrolink website yet. No mention on the Traveline Journey Planner (MET2 timetable) either.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the transport links to MediaCityUK will be like, as GMPTE have had to scrap plans for a bus service from Salford Crescent to MediaCityUK via Pendleton due to the coalition government withdrawing funding to the Kickstart project. Not sure if that’ll affect the other plans proposed (http://www.gmpte.com/news.cfm?news_id=9002535).

    http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/transport/public_transport/s/1315891_axe_falls_on_mediacity_bus_service

  3. Paul w says:

    On one of the Metrolink blogs: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=63734579&postcount=4472

    A contributor … decided to call metrolink cust services. I asked if there would be any changes to Eccles service from Monday, she said no there would not be. I said I had heard they would be running them all through Media City. She said no that they were ‘hopefully’ starting a seperate service but that the Eccles service would be normal and I would not need to allow any extra time for my journey.

    Should I believe her? She sounded quite impatient and like she’d be rather somewhere else, I have had plenty of wrong information given to me by call centre staff in the past.

    Same guy rang again couple hours later and … Much more cheerier lady this time. She said yes they were hoping to route Eccles trams via Media City as per the article but they are not sure if it is possible to do this so I should call on Monday morning to find out if I need to allow extra time for my journey!!

    Seems we will have to wait and see !

  4. Paul w says:

    Phillip Purdy is quoted saying that six trams an hour on weekdays will be calling at the new stop, between 7am and 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 6.30pm on Saturdays. It also says a 12 minute service will be running.

    MMMM : six each hour will call at Media city- is that three each way? : the service is every 12mins so are alternate trams calling?? But tram every 12 mins is 5 trams per hour?? no wonder Metrolink have problems keeping a service running!

  5. mmcnivenmcr says:

    I e-mailed Metrolink and they replied is everything goes to plan, but it wasn’t 100% at the moment.

  6. Shaun says:

    Lack of a fanfare but Metrolink is now running to MediaCityUK. Coverage of it in the M.E.N. Extra trams are being used to keep the 12 minute frequency on the Eccles lines before the new MediaCityUK-Cornbrook service is introduced.

    http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/transport/public_transport/s/1328314_metrolink_trams_pull_in_to_mediacityuk_station_for_first_time

  7. Pingback: Trams start running to MediaCityUK | Manchester Transport

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