New Metrolink operator for 10 years from July ….

Posted on January 19th, 2017, by The Chairman

Paul Wilkinson writes ….

KeolisAmey are the new Metrolink operator for 10 years from 0200 on Sunday 16 July 2017

They also operate Docklands Railway and are part of the Nottingham consortium for their trams.

Expect additional 300 staff with more customer service staff in evenings and weekends.

Details are here.

Please leave a comment

  1. Mike Battman Says:

    The Second City Crossing line from St Peter’s Sq. to Victoria via Exchange Sq. will formally open on Sunday 26 February.

  2. Edd Says:

    Metrolink are up to their old trick of terminating services which are supposed to arrive in Altrincham at twenty to the hour short at Timperley again. I’ve just emailed their customer relations team about it, pointing out that for journeys to stations in Cheshire doing that extends journey times by 60 minutes.

  3. Simon Barber Says:

    It will be interesting to hear the answer you get, Edd. I worry about the possibility that Metrolink don’t care two hoots about journeys into Cheshire, because Cheshire is not in Greater Manchester and might even be seen as economic competition to GM. If only the idea of an integrated transport system had taken hold in this country! Transport round here has been less integrated since the arrival of Metrolink than it was before. You’d have thought that 26 years was long enough to address the lack of integration, but no…

  4. Edd Says:

    In my email to Metrolink I referred to a specific incident where on the afternoon of the 15th March where they turned terminated a double tram short at Timperley (which would have got in to Altrincham at around 15:40.) They only announced the tram would be terminated at Timperley as the tram was pulling in to Timperley. Due to the time of day the double tram had a lot of school pupils on it and the following tram, which came 6 minutes later, was only a single tram, so it was very crowded leaving Timperley. The second tram arrived at Navigation Road as the Chester train was stopped there and the guard was in the process of closing the doors. I mentioned that my journey from Sale to Knutsford took around 90 minutes when if the first tram had ran to Altrincham, as advertised, it would have taken around 30 minutes.

    The initial response I got was a generic one about why they sometimes turnaround services early so I replied to it and said it didn’t answer the specific concerns I raised. I then got a further reply which implied the incident I referred to was because there was a points failure on the Bury line and they wanted to ensure the trams on the Bury line were evenly spaced out for the evening peak. In response to connections to other services all they said was the below statement:

    “As with any transport companies, we are at times subjected to mechanical difficulties. It is advisable for all passengers making time critical journeys’ to allow extra time for their journey in case of disruptions to service.”

    In my case it wasn’t possible to get an earlier tram and if I’d known the next tram wouldn’t have gone to Altrincham I would have remained in Sale for a bit before going back to Altrincham.

  5. Watcherzero Says:

    Turning them is a great way to recover time and restore normal timetable but another issue after disruption is that NR assigns them fixed time slots to use the level crossings, NR generally wont let just run a load of backed up trams through in succession.

  6. Edd Says:

    On the day I was referring to they either turned around a tram which was pretty much on time, unless all the trams from Bury were running around 12 minutes late.

    ‘A great way to recover time’ sounds like Metrolink lingo for ‘We don’t care about integrated public transport and don’t understand why someone from Cheshire would catch an hourly train to Altrincham prior to boarding a tram, when there’s a big car park close to Altrincham station.’ Do Metrolink ever turnaround Bury services at Whitefield or Eithad Campus services at Piccadilly to recover time?

  7. Simon Barber Says:

    I share Edd’s frustration about this. Turning back a tram short at Timperley to preserve even interval service on the Bury line sounds like an admission that services to Altrincham are seen as less important, as well as ignoring the needs of passengers making transfers to Northern rail. An integrated transport system would prioritise transferring and connecting passengers.

  8. Gavin Says:

    I agree with both Simon and Edd and would add that an integreated transport system would publish the times of the trams which connected with the trains at Altrincham. I suspect that if this were available,fewer passengers would feel they needed to drive to Altrincham.

  9. Paul Wilkinson Says:

    Unfortunately TfGM don’t seem to feel the need to publish a timetable for Metrolink and since 2CC opened don’t even give the times of the first and last trams at tram stops. They are available on the beta version of the TfGM website: https://beta.tfgm.com/ search for the tram stop to see them. This site also gives the live times of the next three trams in each direction by connecting to data displayed the screens on the platform.

    When challenged TfGM stated they found it easier to reform tram times when things go wrong!

    Bus companies have to publish timetables with timing points at which they can be held account by the Traffic Commissioner if their buses depart more than an minute early or five minutes late. Hence buses wait on their journey if arriving at timing points early. Drivers are likely to lose their job if they leave early.

    TfGM are looking to run the GMCA’s buses by a franchise system once the Mayor gets their feet under the table. TfGM have a team already working on this.

    Don’t forget the London experience:

    Leon Daniels (Managing Director, Surface Transport, TfL): “… the bus network in London runs at a deficit currently of about £600 million a year. That is the difference between the revenue received and the cost of the operation.”
    Source: https://tinyurl.com/kq6mek3 (London Gov TfL minutes 11 Jan 2017)

    Think what Greater Manchester could do with £600 million per year.!!!

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