Lib Dems back calls for TWICE as many trams

January 24, 2016 12:11 PM

Councillor Andy Kelly and Irene Davidson at Newhey Metrolink StationCouncillor Andy Kelly, leader of the Lib Dems in Rochdale, has backed transport bosses in their attempts to double the amount of trams to Rochdale. Councillor Kelly was speaking after the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority bosses announced the preferred bidders for the new Metrolink contract. The contract to run Metrolink is currently provided by RAP Dev UK Ltd. Their contract ends next year and ITA bosses are currently running a tendering process to run the service from next year. RAP Dev UK Ltd are in the running as are National Express, Amey Rail Ltd and Keolis and Transdev.

Councillor Kelly said: "The news that Metrolink could be running every 6 minutes is very welcome. I have taken the step of writing to each bidder setting out the case to double our trams. They have until May to submit their bids. It is my belief that doubling our trams should be a red line and I made that point very clear to all bidders.

"The Liberal Democrats in Rochdale led the campaign to get Metrolink 'Back on track' - after the previous Labour Government cancelled it in 2004. With petitions, council motions, public meetings and intense lobbying, together we delivered it. I am delighted that transport bosses recognise the success of the line. Doubling the number of trams would be great news for Kingsway Business Park and Rochdale in particular. A decently run transport system is absolutely key to improving our economy and jobs. You can see the difference the tram has already made in Milnrow, Newhey, Kingsway Business Park, Rochdale and across Greater Manchester."

With an average of 400,000 monthly passenger journeys on the Rochdale/Oldham line, it has the highest number of passengers on the new extended Metrolink.

Irene Davidson, a former Leader of Rochdale Council who was out and about taking to Metrolink customers, said: "As someone who was heavily involved in the campaign to get the Metrolink extended to Rochdale, doubling the amount of trams would see even more of a positive difference. Certainly, in Milnrow and Newhey, they have made a massive difference. I believe that if the trams were every 6 minutes, even more people from our area would use it."