Metrolink trams line to Oldham set to open next week

Tram on test in Oldham
Image caption Metrolink passengers will be able to connect to the other routes in Greater Manchester

Trams are to start running to and from Oldham next week, if final tests on the new Metrolink line are successful.

The first service to Oldham Mumps is scheduled to leave Manchester Victoria at 05:24 BST on Wednesday, calling at the eight stops on the line.

The first journey to depart from Oldham Mumps will leave at 06:00 BST and take about 25 minutes to arrive in Manchester city centre.

The line opening has been delayed for months due to technical problems.

It was scheduled to open in March, but was put back for the fitting of a new operating system.

Transport for Greater Manchester said tram services will run every 12 minutes and a six-minute service will be introduced as demand increases.

New destination

Stops at Monsall, Central Park, Freehold and South Chadderton are all new while those at Mumps, Hollinwood, Failsworth and Newton Heath and Moston were used by the Oldham Loop until it closed in October 2009 and have now been completely rebuilt.

All services will call through Manchester city centre and then travel on to the South Manchester line, ending at St Werburgh's Road in Chorlton.

Passengers can connect with services to Bury at Victoria and services to Altrincham, Eccles and MediaCityUK in Manchester city centre or at Cornbrook.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said the latest development marked "the latest stage of a massive expansion of the Metrolink network that will bring our trams to even more new destinations and open up even more opportunities for businesses and communities".

Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, said: "To have Metrolink up and running will be a hugely significant and exciting day in the history of our borough.

"The arrival of the tram has been a long time coming and we must make sure we keep to the agreed timetable for the town centre route as it is central to our future prospects."

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