Government pledges to extend Metrolink tram network to Manchester Airport - despite line opening in 2014

The government will be delighted to know the line to Manchester Airport has existed for some time.
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The Conservative Party Conference in Manchester came to an end yesterday, and transport was high on the agenda. The conference was closed with a speech from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak which included the main line of HS2 to Manchester being scrapped. 

In its place, Mr Sunak talked of ‘Network North’, a new transport plan which is set to use the money saved from HS2 to improve transport links across the North and Midlands. Manchester was referenced several times in this new plan which has been published on the UK Government's website.  

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The website says the government will improve connectivity in all six Northern city areas, including Manchester. The site reads: "the extension of the Manchester Metrolink to Heywood, Bolton, Wigan and Manchester Airport and bus rapid transit corridors in Manchester."

Extending the Metrolink to Heywood, Bolton and Wigan will be great for all involved and will connect Greater Manchester even more. But the government will be delighted to know there’s no need to extend the tram network to Manchester Airport. 

The line extension is one that has existed for no fewer than nine years. 2014 was the year when passengers could first hop on a tram and zoom over to the airport to jet off around the world. In fact, plenty of other areas of the region can be reached on this line out to the airport including Wythenshawe. 

A Manchester Metrolink TramA Manchester Metrolink Tram
A Manchester Metrolink Tram

It’s not like the opening of the Airport line was kept a close secret, in fact it was very well documented. Many national publications including the Guardian wrote stories about the new line and how good it was for the region. 

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The Prime Minister and his cabinet and officials will be therefore happy to know that the billions can be used elsewhere across Manchester and the north of England, as was the pledge made during his speech.

A lot of the speech was aimed at bringing more transport to Manchester and the north and the ‘Network North’ plan. He said: "I challenge anyone to tell me with a straight face that all of that [Network North] isn't what the North really needs.

"Our plan will drive far more growth and opportunity here in the North than a faster train route to London ever would."