Unused tramlines could make the network safer

Councillor Howard Sykes MBE challenges local tram operator to create fully functioning tram turnback facilities.  These would be at Westwood and Oldham Mumps.  The Liberal Democrat Leader on Oldham Borough Council told Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM) that by motorising the existing points and modifying the signalling system they would create a safer travel network for residents.   The overall aim is to utilise the resources the network currently has, in full. 

Howard Sykes

There have been several incidents recently where Oldham Town Centre Metrolink tracks have been blocked.  Passengers have had to leave the trams at Freehold Tram Stop for trams coming from Manchester, and Derker Tram Stop for trams coming from Rochdale.

There have also been cases when trams have been damaged by vandals and the travelling public have been ‘thrown off’ in places they are unfamiliar with and the alternative transport options are less than clear.

Councillor Sykes MBE highlights the problem of not using these unused tramlines:

“When a tram is blocked or damage it has to drop everyone off at the next stop.  This is inconvenient, uncertain and unsafe for continuing the rest of the journey.  Abandoning the travelling public, including single women and other vulnerable people, in an area they do not know is awful and we can and must do better.”

“There are evident safety and safeguarding issues already.  The infrastructure is already in place and this would be a cost-effective way of making tram travel on the Oldham line safer.  I am surprised Metrolink and TfGM have not already thought of this and actioned it!”

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