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Manchester’s Airport line opens

Manchester Airport Metrolink stop on opening day, 3 November. (TfGM)

Manchester Metrolink’s new GBP400m line to Manchester Airport opened to passengers on 3 November, over 12 months ahead of schedule.

Test trams had started a ghost service between Cornbrook and the airport every 12 minutes, on 20 October. From Cornbrook trams connect with Altrincham, East Didsbury or Eccles line trams to the city centre. The St Werburgh’s Road to Cornbrook section will see a tram every six minutes, double the current frequency.

The journey time from the airport to Cornbrook will be 45 minutes, and a 300-space park-and-ride facility will open at the Sale Water Park stop, located just off Junction 6 of the M60. The 14.5km (nine-mile) Airport line brings the size of the Metrolink network to 92.5km (57.5 miles), serving 92 stops.

More than 1000 people had commented on plans for a line to Trafford Park when the 12-week consultation period expired, with an 89% positive reaction to the 5.5km (3.4-mile) line, which will run from the existing Pomona stop on a largely off-street route through Trafford Park to the Trafford Centre.

The extension has secured GBP350m as part of a wider devolution deal for Greater Manchester, announced on 3 November. TfGM is now due to submit a Transport and Works Act Order application; works could begin in 2016.

The Trafford Park line could comprise six stops near key destinations including Old Trafford, the Imperial War Museum North, Trafford Park Village, Parkway, EventCity and the Trafford Centre.