Time to make Victoria Posh
Work on a major, multi-million pound transformation of the Manchester Victoria Metrolink stop is set to start on Friday, 21 February.
The nine-month project will see the stop completely redesigned and expanded to provide additional platforms and tracks, accommodating the new Second City Crossing and wider network expansion – in conjunction with the transformation of the railway station by Network Rail.
As a result of this work there will also be temporary changes to Metrolink services for the duration of the project.
The very first stage of work – from Friday 21 February to Sunday 23 February* – will see Metrolink services replaced with buses from Abraham Moss on the Bury line to the city centre and from Central Park on the Oldham-Rochdale line to the city centre.
Altrincham, Ashton, East Didsbury and Eccles services will run via Piccadilly.
Then, from Monday 24 February** onwards, trams will have to pass through Victoria in both directions on a single line of track. In order to safely maximise the number of trams that can run on the single line the stop will be temporarily closed to passengers.
Instead, passengers will be asked to use Shudehill, the next city centre stop along and just a short walk for connections with Victoria’s rail services and the Phones 4u arena.
Metrolink services will also change for the duration of the work:
· Every Bury to Altrincham service will be served by double trams from start to end of service – boosting capacity at the busiest times.
· A shuttle tram will run between Bury and Abraham Moss every 12 minutes, catering for approximately a third of all journeys made on this line. As a result, passengers travelling to stops between Bury and Abraham Moss should board the dedicated shuttle service, to ensure there is as much room as possible for city-bound passengers travelling in the busy morning and evening peaks.
· Instead of running to and from Bury, Ashton line services will run to Eccles via Piccadilly every 12 minutes. Rochdale and East Didsbury services will still run every 12 minutes but will not call or stop at Victoria.
· Customers travelling between Victoria and Piccadilly rail stations can either use the free city centre Metroshuttle bus service (changing between Service 1 and 2) or alight at Market Street and walk to the Piccadilly Gardens stop (and vice versa) to complete their journey by tram.
A comprehensive public information campaign will launch in the coming weeks to support passengers through the changes and to keep people up to date with the latest developments.
Peter Cushing, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, said: “The Victoria project is incredibly exciting, it complements the wider transformation of the station but also plays an essential part of Metrolink’s Second City Crossing development and on-going expansion of the network.
“To ensure this is done in a safe manner, we have to run on a single line of track. Currently, 15 trams an hour call at Victoria in each direction – that’s 30 overall, which simply cannot be sustained when we’re running on just a single line.
“So we’re temporarily closing the stop and asking people to use the nearby Shudehill stop instead. We’re also making changes to services on the Bury line, which will be supported by running double trams on every service from Bury to Altrincham via the city.
“We’ve considered these changes very carefully and they will provide customers with the most effective, safest and least disruptive option. They also mirror demand we’ve monitored on the network.”
Additional signage and ticket vending facilities will be provided at Shudehill, and Metrolink staff will be on hand during the busiest times. Additional measures will also be put in place to cater for demand during events at the nearby arena.
The Victoria Metrolink stop works and associated enhancements are being funded by the Greater Manchester Transport Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
More information can be found on the Transformation Information website here
Metrolink Victoria stop redevelopment FAQs can be found here and information on tram frequencies and hours of operation can be found in the individual tram times pages here