Metrolink frozen out!

Date published: 09 January 2013

RUSH-HOUR commuters faced delays of more than an hour this morning after Metrolink was suspended due to “icy conditions”.

Trams were not running on the Shaw and Crompton to Victoria line between 7am and 8.15am — meaning huge disruption for passengers told to use their tickets on buses instead.

Chronicle weatherman Damian Rodgers recorded a 7am Oldham temperature of 3C.

The tram operator claimed that as the forecast in the early hours hadn’t predicted frost, icebreaking trams weren’t used to clear ice from overhead lines.

A spokesman said: “You can get pockets of low temperatures which affect the current running through the lines. Metrolink apologises for any inconvenience.”

Councillor Roger Hindle, who lives in Clarksfield, calls the suspension “surprising and disturbing” since the service to Shaw and Crompton has only been running for three weeks.

He said: “What will happen when we get snow and really low temperatures we experienced last year, of -8 to -10C?”

“I accept there are direct bus routes to Manchester from Shaw and Oldham town centres, but this would involve, in some instances, a substantial walk to the nearest stop.”

A Shaw resident called the situation “farcical” — her son was anxious to get to work just three days into a new job.

She said: “When he got to the stop for 7.20am to get into work on time, he found it shut.”

Weatherman Damian explained: “At 8am this morning it was 1 degree C, enough to cause a frost. It rained last night and cold air came in behind it, so the moisture on the ground would have frozen.”