Full steam ahead for Oldham town centre Metrolink extension as major roundabout work completed

By Matthew Lees

The Metrolink journey into Oldham town centre has gathered pace as major works on the Manchester Street roundabout have been completed.

The work was started after the planned tram route changed to run at street level across the roundabout rather than under the road and through a tunnel to the King Street stop.

It’s hoped that the finished work will help bring an end to the traffic problems in the area while making it safer for pedestrians.

“The completion of these major works on the Manchester Street roundabout is great news,” said Councillor Shoab Akhtar, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and the Town Centre.

“This is on a key route into the town centre that is used by thousands of vehicles every day and we’re delighted to see it ready for the new town centre tram line.

“This isn’t just about motorists and trams – the new roundabout will also soon benefit pedestrians with the old subways replaced by much safer street level pedestrian crossings.”

The work has created a new lane for general traffic through the roundabout along with two sets of tram tracks.

To ensure safe movement of general traffic, the Metro and pedestrians new signals have also been installed on all the junctions.

“We are delighted to reach another milestone on this exciting and ambitious programme to extend Metrolink into Oldham town centre and across Greater Manchester,” said Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director, Peter Cushing.

“The TfGM, MPact Thales and Oldham council highways teams have really risen to the challenge to get the work done while managing to keep the roundabout open to traffic.

“I’d like to thank motorists for their patience and look forward to seeing trams running through this important gateway to the town next year.”

The new Oldham Metrolink town centre line will open in 2014, with stops at Westwood, Oldham King Street, Oldham Central and Oldham Mumps – replacing the current temporary stop.

Picture courtesy of Puru-Two, with thanks.

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