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Metrolink opening date remains vague

Reporter: Andrew Rudkin and Helen Korn
Date online: 08 November 2012

Oldham Council
TRANSPORT for Greater Manchester is still being “reluctant” on the opening date for the Oldham to Shaw Metrolink line.

Councillor Dave Hibbert said a specific date has still not been announced — despite autumn being the original launch date.

He told councillors: “Early next year is the vague phrasey TfGM are giving.

“I remain optimistically hopeful it will be before that and you can be rest assured every effort is being made to get the tram going up towards Derker and Shaw.”

A meeting has been set between Councillor Hibbert, council leader Jim McMahon and transport bosses at the end of the month to express their concerns over the delay.

The original reason for the delay was down to the traffic management system, understood to be around Manchester city centre’s Victoria Station.


its rather frustrating that the next phase of the tram line is still being delayed.
annoyingly tfgm seem untouchable when it comes to being accountable for the disruption they have caused.
also the mess of the town centre too.

and those in the previous council administration responsible for signing oldham up to the scheme in the first place without getting assurances that disruption would only be minimal.

businesses and shoppers have left oldham because of this!

Why is the traffic management system around Victoria station to blame for the delay in the tram running from Shaw to Oldham? We have waited long enough for this and they have been testing the track for so long now its just ridiculous! There goes my trips to Manchester over the Christmas period! Useless.

"A meeting has been set between Councillor Hibbert, council leader Jim McMahon and transport bosses at the end of the month to express their concerns over the delay" - So they are taking the matter very seriously ..... Why wait until the end of the month? TfGM should be on the carpet NOW!!

The performance of TfGM over repeatedly delayed opening dates has become more than a bit tedious now. Perhps it's time for the press to stop reporting on this scandal and just let the Metrolink extension fade into obscurity

So the two track Metrolink system cannot cope with the volume of trams that run between Victoria and the Junction to Oldham if the service is increased to Shaw?

Isn't traffic flow / cpacity the sort of thing you look at before ripping up a railway and downgrading it to a tram track?

In the PTE's case, perhaps not? Just run some shiny new yellow toys and tell people its better.

What next a reduced service to Shaw and Rochdale (eventually) of 20 minutes. Oh, but that is what the trains did isn't it? Total poppycock and the councillors going to find out what is going wrong . . . isn't it obvious - they aren't up to the job in hand!

TfGM blame the delays on difficulties getting a new signalling system to work alongside one which is 20 years old. What a load of twaddle! Even the much-maligned Network Rail manage to commission new signal boxes and integrate the new signalling with signalling systems which are much older than 20 years at the adjoining boxes, and their track layouts are in the main much more complicated than the straight 2-line routes that TfGM are working on!

Shawresident. It was stated that the delay on the Manchester/Oldham line was caused by issues relating to the convergence of trams and trains around Victoria. It was also stated that the line onwards from Oldham was on time. Hibbert was also quoted as expressing his optimistic hope that the line as far as Shaw would open soon. I hope that he is correct then, perhaps, you will stop complaining and enjoy the service as much as we are doing in Chadderton.

Dave from Chadderton, the delay is nothing to do with convergence of trains and Trams at Victoria, their lines are completely separate and always have been. Perhaps the reason why Shawresident is complaining is because whereas you, albeit 9 months late, are able as you say to enjoy the service, Shawresident isn't able to do so 6 months after the service should have started, and as someone who is paying for it through taxation is perfectly entitled to complain at the contempt shown by TfGM

The traffic disruptions caused at Mumps in Oldaham and "Wet Rake" in Rochdale are so bad that I don't even drive to either town now. I spend the time going to Todmordem market, it has a car park on one side and a 'bus station on the other, and it is a better market, well done TfGM, you have taken more people out of Oldham than "Oldham Wakes" used to do, and we had trains then, remember them?

Dave from Chadderton, the trains and the trams do not converge at Victoria. They are two completely separate systems. If someone has told you this is the problem, they are either mistaken or trying to spin the fact that they still can't get Metrolink to work properly.

I used to enjoy the train from Shaw to Manchester. The tram with its higher fares, longer journey, (furhter increased via Oldham Town Centre) has put me, and others, back in our cars. Definately what Metrolink isn't suppose to do.

Obviously I accept that the trains and trams do not physically converge at Victoria Station. However, the traffic management system has to cope with the concentration of traffic entering and leaving the hub. I suggest that most people would rather have a safe system than one that has been rushed before all safeguards have been taken.

the excuse of the trams and trains converging is a poor excuse used to fool people who havent a clue on how the tram system runs.

there is no real reason for the shaw section not to be operational by now.
the trams run in different directions on separate lines.

the crossings at roads are up and running.

the number of trams on the line would not really differ.

ombc should really be racking up delay penalties for tfgm.

oh whoops! sorry! sykes didnt get that clause put in writing!

Dave, most people would have expected some one to install a signalling system that could cope with a 12 minute service to Bury, and a path crossing 12 minute service to Oldham, before ripping up a working railway line, and wasting millions on a tram service that cannot do the same job as a train.

The Oldham Loop should have been upgaded for less as part of the northern hub. A nationally collected rail service, not a back water tram for an increasing back water town.


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