The wait is almost over for Oldhamers wanting to catch a tram to Manchester.
Speaking on this subject, Craig Dean was featured on Andy Crane’s show on BBC Radio Manchester on Friday 8th June. The drive time show treats listeners to news for their journey home, and Oldham’s Metrolink is big news for the area. Craig was introduced in his role as Oldham President of the GMCC as well as Chief Executive of Web Applications UK.
As we’re situated next to Oldham Mumps, the temporary Metrolink station is set to open right on our doorstep. For us this will have a huge impact. Many of our Webbies commute from far and wide to get here and the tram will mean much less travel time.
Image “Manchester Metrolink Route Map” by Anthony S is licensed under CC BY 2.0
To make way for the brand new Metrolink, Oldham’s train service ceased in 2009. Since then buses have been our only form of public transport into Manchester, taking up to 50 minutes. The Metrolink is set to provide a quicker, more modern way to travel.
Image “Metrolink 3023 at Freehold” by The Laird of Oldham is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Having experienced the disruptions to traffic first hand, Craig mentioned that the change has been painful, but it is necessary and will definitely be worth it. The disruptions aren’t over just yet, the permanent site for the Oldham Metrolink station will be in the town centre, scheduled to open in two years’ time.
Craig pointed out that service-based businesses like ours don’t need to be situated in a city centre. We can have our cake and eat it by being based in a cheaper location within easy reach of Manchester. The improved transport links, as part of the town’s revitalisation, should attract business to Oldham and create more jobs.
Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader has said: “Metrolink is essential to our plans to get people to see Oldham differently – as a place with excellent infrastructure and opportunities, but also a place that is ‘open for business’ and has a real commitment to making things happen.”
It was confirmed today that the final tests have proved a success, and the first tram to leave Manchester Victoria is set for 5:24am tomorrow.
If you fancy a listen to Craig’s appearance on BBC Radio Manchester, you can find it here.