• Search

Next stop, town centre!

Date published: 20 January 2014

WORKMEN have begun to connect up the tram lines that will bring Metrolink permanently into Oldham town centre.

Friday night marked the end of an era, as the old track at Mumps carried its final vehicle.

The last tram to use the line for Manchester left Mumps at 11.30pm, with the service returning to Oldham and Rochdale at 12.45am. The line then closed ahead of next Monday’s long-awaited town-centre Metrolink 3B line coming into service.

The closure is necessary for final connections to fix the new line running through Oldham town centre to the existing Oldham and Rochdale track at Mumps and Werneth.

A replacement bus service carrying passengers to Central Park is in operation.

The work also saw road closures around Mumps from 9pm on Friday until 3pm on Saturday to allow overhead line equipment and poles to be permanently removed over the junction. The closure caused major traffic delays until the roads were reopened.

One motorist said: “It’s a nightmare, you can’t get anywhere. It has had a knock-on effect not only in Oldham but in Shaw and Chadderton because you can’t get through. Everyone is trying to find ways around the edges.

“I got stuck trying to get into Oldham from Shaw, then got stuck on Broadway for ages, it’s just chock-a-block.”

When the line finally opens next Monday, it should see an end to the traffic disruption and frustration which has plagued motorists trying to get through Oldham for the last three and a half years. And it will firmly consign to history the Oldham loop line which carried trains from Manchester Victoria to Rochdale via Oldham Mumps.


Bang goes the not unreasonable wish to have an alternative 'direct' route remain open as an alternative to the inevitable chaos when trams get blocked in Oldham town centre or for those residents in Shaw who want an express service to Manchester.

I bet the real circumstances of this incident bear little resemblance to the accounts given by the people interviewed in this article.

Big mistake closing the old loop line.

With the Oldham line the highest above sea level on the Metrolink network the trams will have serious problems making it up the steep gradient from Middleton Road up to West Street in adverse freezing conditions.

The old line through the tunnels from Werneth to Mumps should have been kept open not only for delays and closures on the town centre line but as an alternative express route missing out what will be a slow street running section.

there was major disruption over the weekend which was highlighted a week in advance.

but come monday morning one lane is still closed traveling towards oldham for site access?

why do they need this? the site they are accessing is the old station car park? its got its own access road in.
all works can be accessed from here. there is no need to close a whole lane down and cause yet more traffic chaos.

oldhams had more than it fair share of that over the last four years!

I live in Shaw and have absolutely no desire to trundle along Union Street, King Street and wherever else the route is going. Does anyone know how long the new journey will take to arrive in Manchester? I think it will be quicker for me to travel by tram to Rochdale and then get the heavy line down to Manchester. An express only takes twelve minutes. Why oh why couldn't they leave the Mumps bit open?

Don't you just love how people keep saying that the tram is going into the town centre, since when has Union Street been the "Centre" of our town? Thanks to the new trams I cannot even get off a bus at the main library, no room for a bus stop? Most off us will still be using buses as the trams don't come anywhere near our homes. I agree with Broadsword an alternative route around the town should have been kept, even if it was just for emergencies.

I'm sorry Broadsword but for the decision makers to grant us that wish, they would need just a little common sense.
We can't really expect that of them can we?

well how about the traffic distrutions this morning -to get on the Olhham Way for the car users - took me over half an hour to get to Chadderton from Waterhead. Traffic was at a standstill on Huddersfield Rd.They advised shut over weekend and no trams for 9 days - so thought leave earlier extra traffic- what they did not advise was that they were closing lanes after Cross St as well- for both Huddersfield Rd+ Lees Rd- so we have to endure this for the next 9 days till trams back running

Is a shame the have closed the line through mumps that line was historic even as a tram line and I do agree that they should of kept it open as I think there will be more delays through the town centre the only good stop for me is westwood as I work at tesco and can just cross over the road after getting off the tram and go to work, let's hope it all works out in the end

why don't they have an express service from Oldham to Manchester,once or twice an hour ???
It's a lot quicker on the train from greenfield to Manchester.

A couple of years ago there was an outcry from people warning of impending gridlock at Mumps once the trams started crossing the bypass every 12mins. Mumps hasn’t been as fluid for decades. Now, 5yrs plus after the route and service was finalized there is a call to keep it open for ‘express’ trams or for inclement weather. The simple truth is the massive increase in tram usage opposed to the train proves that most actual users quite like it, weather permitting.
Let’s see how it goes.

"When the line finally opens next Monday, it should see an end to the traffic disruption and frustration which has plagued motorists trying to get through Oldham for the last three and a half years", unless you are a motorist whom uses Manchester Road roundabout?

The Metrolink was supposed to try and encourage people to visit Oldham centre, yet if they get off on Union Street, they still face an uphill walk to the main shopping area - and can you imagine visitors wanting to do that in bad weather ?

Thou Dumber, you don't have to worry about people walking uphill, from the tram, in bad weather. The trams usually stop running if the weather gets bad, or if there's a slight frost.

The trams stopped running to Oldham before the buses did, last winter.

Wow now the tram is finished they are still moaning Why an Express from Shaw what about other passengers Do these people not realise if the had an Express from Shaw they would have to alter the timetables and leave the line free of traffic so the people of Shaw could dash through there by tram it would not run every 12 mins to cater for this but every 20 mins.
I have been stuck on Express trains when a local sprinter as been stuck in front of us adding a good 1/2 hous to a journey So get the Bus

Get real!
Keeping the old loop operational whist sounding attractive would be far too expensive! The old loop used the two tunnels would need to be maintained at considerable cost to the oldham tax payer.
Some people are never happy!
What about a Royton spur line?

This is a regrettable and short sighted decision. Closing a fully operational, diversionary route that also gave an opportunity for express services is foolish. At the very least it should have been 'moth-balled' to see how the new town centre route manages. The haste at which it has already been partially dismantled is nonsensical. As for the cost of maintaining the two tunnels, this cost has not disappeared simply because the trams no longer run through them, it continues in-perpetuity.

@ BPorBust. The tunnels will still have to be maintained to a degree even though they are not going to be used. If not and they collapse, what about what is above them? Major disaster?

The best thing about the metro is that we can get out of Oldham. Who is actually going to come to Oldham. No one...


Have Your Say

Post New Comment


To post a comment you must first Log in.  Don't have an account? Register Now!