Trams will pass through Mosley Street tram stop in Manchester city centre for the final time tonight.
The stop, part of the first phase of the city’s tram network which opened in 1992, will close tomorrow in a bid to address the bottlenecks that plague the Metrolink system in the city centre.
More double trams will now be able to run to locations such as Altrincham and East Didsbury – the latter of which opens next week as part of the networks £1.4billion expansion.
Peter Cushing, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink director, said: “Closing the stop removes both problems and also offers journey time savings, protects the reliability of services and opens up the immediate area to improve pedestrian access to local businesses.
“It also means, in future, we will be able to run more double trams through the city centre, which will provide more room for passengers.”
As the only split-level platform in the city centre, the Mosley Street stop meant the new yellow trams could not run as double units.
They weren’t able to facilitate retractable steps to reach the lower level, meaning only the older trams could serve Mosley Street as double trams.
As a result of the closure, these trams will now be able to run as double units over the entire network.
Mr Cushing added: “We fully appreciate that removing any stop on the network will have an effect but Mosley Street is very close to Piccadilly Gardens and Market Street.”
The closure was initially approved following a consultation by the Department for Transport between November 2010 and February 2011.
The stop will be decommissioned as soon as it closes, with the shelters, lighting and ticket machines being removed within the first few days of closure.
From July, TfGM’s contractors will demolish the stop and begin to reinstate the footway.
Passenger Robyn Jones said: “It won’t actually make much of a difference as there’s a couple of other stops just around the corner.
“If anything it’s been more of a hindrance staying open as trams often had to wait for others to pass through.”
Picture courtesy of David Dixon via CreativeCommons, with thanks.