Manchester Metrolink - Manchester Metrolink Depots - G

Manchester Metrolink - G
Manchester Metrolink Depots
Metrolink has two depots, at Queens Road and Old Trafford: Metrolink House at Queens Road in Cheetham Hill was the original headquarters of Metrolink. Constructed during Phase 1 alongside the Bury Line, it served jointly as a control centre, HQ, office space, and depot for the storage, maintenance and repair of vehicles.
Under the original proposals, Metrolink House was intended to be much larger, with a design which would support network expansion, but this design did not obtain the necessary planning permission from Manchester City Council. Consequently, Metrolink House was scaled down to a 4-hectare (9.9-acre) £8,000,000 site with limited capacity, and, in light of Phase 3a network expansion, the second depot in Old Trafford was built in 2011.
This second depot, adjacent to the Old Trafford tram stop, occupies the site of a former warehouse and can stable up to 96 vehicles, it also has a washing plant and maintenance workshops. On 7 May 2013 Metrolink completed the transfer of its main operational functions from Queens Road to Old Trafford, meaning its control room – known as the Network Management Centre – is housed jointly with the Customer Services team by its newer depot.
Manchester Metrolink Fares and Ticketing
Metrolink fares were initially set by the system's operator, but are now set by the TfGM Committee at levels that cover both the running costs and the cost of borrowing that has part-funded the expansion of the system. Metrolink receives no public subsidy. Fares typically rise each January above the rate of inflation.
The fare tariff is based on a division of the network's stops into fare zones. Persons under 16 years of age, persons of pensionable age, and people with disabilities qualify for concessionary fares, some of which are mandatory and others discretionary, as determined by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority permits reduced fares for persons under 16 years of age, and free or reduced fares on Metrolink after 9:30 a.m. for pensioners. In normal circumstances, tickets cannot be purchased on board Metrolink vehicles and must be purchased from a ticket vending machine before boarding the vehicle. 
Fare evasion in 2006 was estimated at 2–6% of all users, and in 2012 at 2.5% of all users. Checking tickets and passes and issuing Standard fares (similar to penalty fare) is the responsibility of Metrolink's Passenger Services Representatives (PSRs), who provide security and assistance on the network, between 1992 and 2008, Greater Manchester Police had a dedicated Metrolink unit responsible for policing the system.
Thorn EMI designed the original ticket vending machines. In 2005 GMPTE announced that rail passengers travelling from within Greater Manchester into Manchester city centre could use the Metrolink service between the then eight City Zone stops for free. Passengers must present a valid rail ticket, correctly dated with Manchester Ctlz as the destination. In 2007 TfGM rolled out new ticket vending machines, designed to accept credit/debit card payments and permit the purchase of multiple tickets in a single transaction. These were replaced in 2009 with touchscreen machines, designed with the Scheidt & Bachmann Ticket XPress system.
In October 2012, TfGM announced it was devising a more straightforward zonal fare system, comparable to London fare zones, and preparing to introduce get me there, the region's new contactless smartcard system, for use on all public transport modes in Greater Manchester, including Metrolink. After years of consultation, a new system using four concentric zones was implemented on 13 January 2019. From 15 July 2019, a new contactless pay-as-you-go service began, allowing passengers to tap in and out on smart readers using their contactless bank cards. Contactless fares were originally capped to no more than the cost of the equivalent daily travelcard. In September 2021 an additional weekly cap was introduced.
Manchester Metrolink Services
Manchester Metrolink Accessibility
Metrolink trams and stops have been designed to be accessible to disabled passengers: each stop has been provided with access ramps or lifts, tactile paving, high visibility handrails, disabled boarding points, and help points on the platforms. The trams have also been designed with large areas available for the provision of wheelchairs and pushchairs.
However, this access was not in the original plans (which were based on tram-side extending steps and low-level platforms in the city centre) and accessibility took four years of concerted campaigning by disabled people in Greater Manchester from 1984 to 1988, and particularly the efforts of Neville Strowger (1939–2015), a disabled person working as the access officer at Manchester City Council, and a founding member of the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People. The campaign was to change the design policy to create full access, including retrofitting access to the legacy train stations on the Bury line and the Altrincham line.
An early milestone in the campaign was a large meeting between GMPTE officers and around 70 disabled people at County Hall on 22 November 1984, including a speech from the invited disability rights campaigner Vic Finkelstein. A further key meeting was in May 1987 with over 100 disabled people and elected Councillor Guy Harkin as Chair of GMPTA plus other officials, but the policy in 1987 that was repeated at this meeting was that access would only be possible "if the budget allows."
Full access was finally agreed in the summer of 1988, and productive meetings followed with disabled people on the implementation details. This campaigning was researched in detail starting in 2019 and written up in an 8-page pamphlet in February 2020.
Mobility scooters were initially banned from Metrolink. However, in 2014 a scheme was introduced whereby scooters could be allowed on trams, provided they have a permit which can be obtained after an assessment of the scooter's size and manoeuvrability.
Currently the Metrolink operator company consults with a group of disabled people, via TfGM's relationship with the independent Disability Design Reference Group, on any proposed changes to the services or infrastructure.
In August 2022, a trial was launched to allow dogs on trams. During the trial, dogs must be kept on leads.
Manchester Metrolink Bicycle Policy
Metrolink does not allow full-sized bicycles on to trams but does permit the carriage of "fully covered" folding bicycles. The ban on non-folding bicycles was upheld in 2010, despite a campaign by cycling and green groups for the trams to be adapted to allow them. Campaigners against the policy had argued that the ban on bicycles was anomalous, as other large objects such as ironing boards and deckchairs were allowed on the trams under current rules.
Manchester Metrolink Wi-Fi
In July 2013, the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee announced that it planned to enhance the experience of travelling on Metrolink by tapping into Manchester City Council's grant from the UK Urban Broadband Fund and using it to provide Metrolink passengers with free Wi-Fi when on board. The scheme began with a trial on a single tram – number 3054 – connected to the FreeBeeMcr broadband network with the intention of rolling it out across the whole Metrolink network by Spring 2015. It was rolled out fleet wide in March 2015. On board Wi-Fi was later suspended indefinitely in March 2020.
Manchester Metrolink Overview
Manchester Metrolink Owner: Transport for Greater Manchester
Manchester Metrolink Locale: Greater Manchester
Manchester Metrolink Transit Type: Tram/Light rail
Manchester Metrolink Number of Lines: 8
Manchester Metrolink Number of Stations: 99
Manchester Metrolink Annual Ridership: 36.0 million (2022/23)
Manchester Metrolink Increase: 38.5%
Manchester Metrolink Chief Executive: Danny Vaughan (TfGM Metrolink Director)
Manchester Metrolink Headquarters: Metrolink Trafford Depot
Warwick Road South
M16 0GZ
Manchester Metrolink Began Operation: 6 April 1992, 31 years ago
Manchester Metrolink Operator(s): KeolisAmey Metrolink Ltd.
Number of Vehicles: 147 Bombardier M5000
Manchester Metrolink Train Length: 28.4 metres (93 ft)
Manchester Metrolink System Length: 64 miles (103 km)
Manchester Metrolink Track Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Manchester Metrolink Minimum Radius of Curvature: 25 m (82 ft)
Manchester Metrolink Electrification: 750 V DC overhead line
Manchester Metrolink Top Speed: 50 miles per hour (80 km/h)
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