Coronavirus: Metrolink to increase trams as shops reopen

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Metrolink trams at St Peter's Square, ManchesterImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The new timetable with double trams will provide "enough space for social distancing", says Andy Burnham

Metrolink will increase the number of services and deploy double trams as Greater Manchester prepares for more easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

"Double units" will run at 10-minute intervals from 22 June, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said.

It will "create a timetable with enough space for social distancing", he added.

Mr Burnham said it was not practical to make the changes from 15 June, when many people will return to work as non-essential shops are allowed to reopen.

"It's the quickest we could do it with the practicalities of bringing staff back to support this new level," the mayor said.

He also announced the introduction of a "clipper card" on Monday - similar to the clipper system used in the 1980s.

He said it was designed to give "more flexibility... recognising that people may not just be coming in to work a normal working week as they did in the past".

"They may be coming in for a day, and then working from home another day."

The clipper card can be bought online and loaded on to passengers' "Get Me There" smart cards, removing the need to queue at ticket machines or handle cash.

Mr Burnham said staff on busier Metrolink stops would be handing out face masks which will be compulsory on public transport

Hand sanitiser will also be made available at key bus stops.

He said that, "in time", sanitiser would also be available on the Metrolink network.

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