Major Improvement Works on the Metrolink Network – Forecasting and Monitoring the Passengers Impacts

Major Improvement Works on the Metrolink Network – Forecasting and Monitoring the Passengers Impacts


David Gregory, David Gregory Transport Planning Limited, Tom Sansom, Transport for Greater Manchester


The Greater Manchester Metrolink network has expanded. Work is under way to add extra capacity including rebuilding the busiest stop on the network. The paper shows the analysis work to minimize passenger impacts comparing actual outcomes.


The Greater Manchester Metrolink network has significantly expanded over the last five years, and now offers extensive coverage of the County with eight lines, 92km network, 93 stops, operated by over 100 trams, carrying over 32m passenger trips per year.
The expansion is not yet complete. Work is currently under way to build the Second City Crossing, so adding extra capacity to the network so more trams are able to operate through the main area of economic activity.
Part of the current works required the rebuilding of the St Peter’s Square stop in the heart of the regional centre, expanding it from two to four platforms in size. This stop is busiest on the network with over four million trips per year.
Given large disbenefits to passengers were expected from the closure, including loss of demand and revenue, analysis work was completed in the months before closure to understand how to minimize disbenefits. This work helped shape the construction programme, define the optimum service patterns to operate on the network from the passenger needs, assess the benefits of a single track operation, identify tram capacity issues and highlight additional impacts to other stops and public transport modes.
As the stop is now closed, the actual impacts have been compared to those forecasts, and an understanding of passenger responses developed that will be used in the planning of any future major improvement works. This on-going monitoring work has helped refine the plan during closure and ensure the passenger impacts remain at a minimum and ensure trams remain efficient and reliable.


Association for European Transport