City's tram system gets £120m boost

The Metrolink system throughout Greater Manchester has received a cash boost of £120 million to pay for two new extensions.

The money has been supplied by the taxpayer and totals £120.9 million. It will be used to extend the tram route to East Didsbury in south Manchester and Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside.

Once the work has been completed, the Metrolink will have doubled in capacity with two new lines opened.

Lines to Oldham, Rochdale and Chortlon were announced in 2008.

Transport minister Sadiq Khan said: "Metrolink is at the heart of Manchester's transport system and has been providing a great service to the travelling public for more than a decade.

"People travelling to and from Didsbury and Ashton will now reap the benefits of having a direct link to the city centre - improving job opportunities and giving a boost to local businesses.

"As well as helping to regenerate some of the most deprived areas along both these corridors, more passengers on the tram will reduce traffic congestion in the area and provide better local air quality."

The proposed 4.5km Chorlton to East Didsbury extension will run on the route of a former railway line.

The Ashton extension will see 3.9 km of new track laid and four new stops, connecting the town centres of Droylsden and Ashton. The funding will also pay for six trams to the Metrolink fleet and two new park and ride sites at Ashton Moss and Ashton West for more than 600 cars.

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