New trams set to boost capacity and space for social distancing
Date published: 06 November 2020
The first new tram will be put into service before Christmas
The first of 27 new Metrolink trams is set to arrive next week, boosting capacity on the network and providing more space for social distancing.
Once testing and commissioning is complete, the first tram will be put into service before Christmas, with further trams set to arrive every three to four weeks after that.
Each new tram will be the M5000 model – the same as the existing fleet – and, once tested and commissioned, the new arrivals will increase capacity on the network by 15%, enabling Metrolink to run more double trams for customers.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Public safety has, and will remain, my absolute priority as we continue to navigate our way out of this pandemic – and these new trams will be vital to helping us provide more capacity on Metrolink when we come out of lockdown and once again focus on building back better from this virus.
“We know concerns over using public transport – including social distancing – can be a real barrier that prevents people from travelling, and measures like this will help restore and build confidence in our networks.
“With infection rates across Greater Manchester still high it's important that we continue to work together to stop the spread so, if you must use public transport, please remember the basic rules – wear a face covering and sanitise your hands when using our buses, trains and trams.”
The new trams are being funded by the Transforming Cities Fund, and were first announced as part of the Congestion Deal (March 2018), the city-region’s approach for tackling congestion by improving public transport and providing a genuine alternative to driving.
The £72m contract with manufacturer Bombardier Transportation UK and Kiepe Electric was signed in July 2018.
From yesterday (Thursday), as the nation began a four-week lockdown, people are being told to follow the latest government coronavirus regulations and guidance to avoid travelling and stay at home.
People can still travel for legally permitted reasons including work, education, caring, medical reasons; visiting shops and other venues that are open and exercise.
For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit: www.tfgm.com, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGM on Twitter.
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