Salford plans for upgraded station and “Metroshuttle” to MediaCityUK

New entrance for Salford Crescent station

Plans are afoot for an upgrade of Salford Crescent railway station as well as a new bus service linking the station with MediaCityUK.

The current station layout at Salford Crescent is pretty cramped – the ticket office and waiting room are located on the island platform, resulting in some very narrow sections. Add in the large number of University of Salford students who use rail services and you have a recipe for overcrowding. Network Rail plan to sweep away all buildings except for the train dispatch office at the northern end. A new station building will be constructed at street level on the A6 flyover, with access direct onto The Crescent, and will feature a ticket office. A new footbridge will link the station building with steps and a lift leading onto platform level, with the existing footbridge reverting to a pedestrian footbridge only.

The platforms will be lengthened to accept six-car trains, and Network Rail plan to have completed the work by 2014. As far as projects go, it seems to have been descoped a fair bit from original talk of relocating the station and building additional platforms. Should the railway to Wigan Wallgate via Atherton ever be converted to tram-train (or just plain old tram) – lower maintenance costs, reduced subsidy, higher frequencies and the need to replace ageing diesel units being the main drivers – then the proposed layout should prove sufficient for future growth of the remaining heavy rail services.

Meanwhile, new bus stops are planned on the adjoining University Road that will cater for the proposed bus service from Salford Crescent to MediaCityUK. Although the original DfT “Kickstart” funding was scrapped by the incoming Government, GMPTE has won additional Green Bus Fund money instead – £330k plus some additional borrowing – that will fund the acquisition of four hybrid diesel-electric buses to operate the new service. These will be based on the Metroshuttle specification and will be capable of carrying 57 passengers – presumably the longer Optare Versa design which seat 27 with room for 28 standees.

Proposed frequency of Salford – MediaCityUK “Metroshuttle”
Weekdays Saturdays Sundays and Bank Holidays
Salford Crescent to MediaCityUK 10 mins (0700-2000)
15 mins (2000-2300)
15 mins (0800-2000) 15 mins (1000-1800)

Unlike the existing Metroshuttle services in Manchester, Bolton and Stockport, this service will not be free. The proposed fares are £1 single, £1.60 for a day ticket and £6 for a weekly ticket. Eligible students at the University of Salford will be able to travel for free between the main campus on The Crescent and the new facility at MediaCityUK, which opens in October this year. The university will contribute a fixed sum towards the operating costs for this privilege, with 25% of the total cost met by GMPTE and the remainder funded by Salford City Council.

A tender for operating the service was issued in November last year, with a planned launch in May this year. The initial contract is for 12 months extendable to 8 years, with funding reviews every 12 months and a 12 month notice period in the event of the contract being terminated.


About James McCollom

Web geek and public transport user
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13 Responses to Salford plans for upgraded station and “Metroshuttle” to MediaCityUK

  1. Watcherzero says:

    To clarify a bit, the cancelled government kickstart money was for the operating costs of the service not the purchase of the green vehicles. The Kickstart was a fund to establish new bus routes and pay for the first couple of years of service so they gather passenger usage data and hopefully they demonstrate commercial worth so a private operator would come in and takeover when the grant ended. So crazily you had the government giving a grant for purchasing buses at the same time as withdrawing the funding to operate it! Thankfully Salford Council has stepped in to fund the daily operation of the buses (despite their need to cut spending) or we would have been left with 4 buses and no route to operate them on.

    • James McCollom says:

      Yes, I should have made it clear. So instead of finding a grant to pay running costs, they’ve got one to pay for the vehicles instead. It seems to be a tendancy of Lib Dem/Tory coallitions not to want to spend ongoing moneys. The Kickstart scheme seemed to be a very “third way” solution – neither public nor private! 🙂

  2. Sotonbus says:

    Looks like it’ll be more like the Piccadilly Station-Oxford Road hospital shuttle than than the free Metroshuttles.

    I can’t help thinking this service is a folly and an unnecessary subsidy to those who will work at MediaCity:UK however.

    A far cheaper solution would have been to reroute the existing 53 bus service to run round the Quays and then extend it from Pendleton to Salford Crescent. This would also open up the Quays to better access to/from South and East Manchester. Admittedly First would need to pull their socks up and start maintaining and cleaning their vehicles adequately before this was a fully workable idea.

    • James McCollom says:

      It will be a bit of a hybrid (‘scuse the pun) of Metroshuttle and Oxford Road Link. Notable difference from the latter is that it will run at weekends.

      Rerouting the 53 is a good idea but would be more prone to delays from traffic congestion, whilst the idea behind this new bus service seems to be just to shuttle people to and from rail connections.

  3. Neil Williams says:

    If it’s not free, it shouldn’t be called Metroshuttle – that’ll dilute the brand and confuse people. GMPTE need to think of a different name.

  4. Shaun says:

    The service isn’t called Metroshuttle, it’s a shuttle service with Metroshuttle-esque buses being used.

    • James McCollom says:

      Yes, in fairness to GMPTE they haven’t described this as a “Metroshuttle” service. It does share similar funding arrangements however, with Salford City Council involvement, and will serve Salford city centre – that’s Pendleton Precinct Salford Shopping City to you and me!

  5. Shaun says:

    Wonder if this is the registration for the new Salford shuttle service? If so, Manchester Community Transport will be running it

    Registration Accepted by SN
    Starting Point: Salford
    Finish Point: Salford
    Service Number: Salford Link Service
    Service Type: Flexible Registration
    Effective Date: 01-MAY-2011
    Other Details:

  6. Shaun says:

    Development in the shuttle bus to MediaCity UK. A timetable for the MediaCityUK shuttle service has appeared on the Traveline NW Journey Planner, although there is a notice on the home page saying the service isn’t running yet and ‘should be ignored until further notice’.

    If the details don’t change between now and when it actually starts, then the service will be numbered 9 (which may tie in the 69 service that also runs between Pendleton and Salford Quays) and will be run by Maytree Travel.

    The service will run every 10 minutes weekday daytime and every 15 minutes weekend daytime and Monday-Saturday evenings. There’ll be no Sunday evening service. Journey times are about 13 minutes long, rising to 16 minutes at peak times.

    The service will run from MediaCityUK via The Quays, Broadway, South Langworthy Road, Langworthy Road, Liverpool Street, Fitzwilliam Street, Churchill Way, Hankinson Way, Pendleton (Salford Shopping City), Broad Street, Crescent to Salford University Grounds. The service then returns via Crescent, Broad Street, Pendleton (Salford Shopping City), Pendleton Way, Fitzwilliam Street then as reverse of route to MediaCItyUK.

    Journeys to MediaCityUK:
    Weekdays: 7.02am and every 10 mins until 9.02am then 9.15am and every 10 mins until 3.35pm then 3.42pm, 3.55pm, 4.02pm and every 10 mins until 6.32pm then 6.45pm, 6.55pm, 7.05pm, 7.15pm, 7.25pm, 7.35pm, 7.45pm and every 15 mins until 11.00pm
    Saturdays: 8am and every 15 mins and 11pm
    Sundays: 10am and every 15 mins and 6pm

    Journeys to Salford Crescent:
    Weekdays: 7.22am and every 10 mins until 9.22am then 9.35am, 9.43am, 9.48am and every 10 mins until 3.28pm then 3.42pm, 3.55pm, 4.02pm, 4.15pm, 4.22pm and evey 10 mins until 6.32pm then 6.41pm, 6.49pm, 7.02pm, 7.12pm, 7.22pm, 7.32pm, 7.42pm, 7.52pm, 8.02pm and every 15 mins until 11.17pm
    Saturdays: 8.13am and every 15 mins until 6.13pm then 6.32pm and every 15 mins until 11.17pm
    Sundays: 10.13am and every 15 mins until 6.13pm

    • James McCollom says:

      Thanks Shaun – I pass through Salford Crescent every day so shall get my camera out once it hits the street!

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