Norman Baker, Minister for Local and Regional Transport, visits Manchester to experience the city’s Metrolink trams.
Date filmed: 15 July 2010
Narrator: Manchester’s Metrolink trams are an iconic part of the city’s transport network. For more than a decade, they’ve provided a quick and convenient service for the travelling public. And the network is set to expand following the government’s decision to reapprove over £120 million of funding for the Ashton and East Didsbury extensions. Norman Baker, Minister for Local and Regional Transport, experienced the network for himself when he came to formally open the newly-expanded Queen’s Road depot. The depot will play a crucial role in stabling and maintaining the Metrolink fleet, which is expanding from 32 to 80 trams.
Norman Baker, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport: I’m very pleased that one of the first decisions of the new government has been to confirm the money for the extension to the Manchester Metrolink, and of course £10 million of Department for Transport money went towards this particular depot. So this is a sign of confidence in light rail, and it’s a sign of commitment from the government to the north-west. There’s no doubt that an extension to Metrolink here in Manchester would help the local economy, it will help cut carbon emissions and be well received all round.
Narrator: Councillor Ian Macdonald is delighted that approval for the extensions has gone ahead.
Cllr Ian Macdonald, Chair, Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority: The extensions will spread out the network in a way; they’re going to different places, new places, and tying it all together in a much more coherent way. And if people can be persuaded to get out of their cars and get on the tram, then that’s very much better for everybody.