Manchester businesses worry about effects of second city centre Metrolink line

By Abi Goodman

Businesses are calling for greater consideration of the effects of a second Metrolink line as a consultation on the controversial plans closed yesterday.

The 1.6km line, boasting two new stops, would take over 3 years to complete as work starts in 2013 and is expected to end in late 2016.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce are worried that people don’t fully understand the repercussions of such a move.

Spokesman Richard Crichley said that whilst they support expansions of the Metrolink, they want to make sure the changes will benefit the economy and would like a more in depth review of the options for a second line.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Metrolink Director, Philip Purdy, called the line “essential”.

He said:  “It will give the Metrolink the capacity, flexibility and reliability that passengers need as the network trebles in size over the next five years.”

Mr Crichley, however, said that businesses may be better served if a Metrolink line was instead built to Spinningfields and Greengate.

TfGM’s current plans for a line from Deansgate to Victoria Station would require Princess Street to be closed to traffic apart from trams and buses.

Trams4Deansgate, a group set up by local residents, have submitted a report to the consultation, requesting that the second line be built along Deansgate.

They say that this would increase accessibililty to the Metrolink in the city centre and help with the economic growth of Manchester.

In their report, Trams4Manchester write: “A key advantage of the Deansgate route is that it would help sustain the regeneration of Spinningfields and transformation of the Greengate area of Salford.”

Their report criticises TfGM for deciding on the current route without using accurate or complete information.

Trams4Deansgate are calling for further investigation into the Deansgate alternative arguing that it would be more financially viable than the Cross Street route.

Results of the consultation will be available on the Mancunian Matters website upon release.

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