Saturday, 30 November 2013

It looks like the local Metrolink will be a success after all

Please excuse the worlds worst Metrolink photograph but it was taken on a mobile phone from a moving car. The photo was taken this evening in Droylsden and it was good to see that the Metrolink trams heading into and out of Ashton were very busy, many heading into Ashton from the Manchester direction were that full it was a case of standing room only.

I have always backed the Metrolink scheme as I believe there must be an alternative to buses and private motor cars. With no alternative we would eventually face total gridlock. I did however fear that the line through Droylsden to Ashton might have been a mistake as early reports suggested little interest from the travelling public, but happily it now appears that the public have finally realised that the Metrolink is a viable alternative after all.

Let's hope for further Metrolink expansion in the future, especially to places even void of decent rail facilities such as Haughton Green. I reckon that a Metrolink line to Denton and Haughton Green travelling from Manchester along the A57 corridor would be a big success.


50,000 Greeks in Athens - Victory Is Ours said...

Hail the Golden Dawn.

Congolese native who is running for Sinn Féin said...

They fought the Brits for this?

Tramageddon said...

One full tram on a Saturday night, so what. You'd better hope even a tiny proportion of the overall moving public DON'T try and switch to the tram because it would be completely overwhelmed. Because of its relative miniscule capacity (120 vehicles) it can only ever do a tiny proportion of the work. It's also outdated, inflexible and highly obstructive, all reasons why it won't spread to other cities in the UK apart from a handful of much smaller scale example. A few well off commuters into Manchester are the only ones who really benefit from this vastly overpriced white elephant.
A good example of SENSIBLE and USEFUL mass transportation of this type would be London's underground which moves large numbers of people and keeps out of the way.

Anonymous said...

Manchester's new Bishop is hoping to keep the region’s church on the right track – after travelling to his enthroning ceremony by TRAM.

The Right Reverend David Walker, 56, was formally installed into the role at a ceremony at the refurbished Manchester Cathedral this afternoon.

Earlier in the day Rev Walker had made a 'pilgrimage' from his home town of Mossley in Tameside into Manchester city centre for the service.

He started by walking renewing his baptism vows at St George’s Church in Mossley, where he was originally baptised 56 years ago.

The father-of-two then walked approximately five miles to Ashton town centre where he met market traders before taking the Metrolink to Manchester, stopping off at Droylsden and the Etihad Stadium along the way.

In Droylsden he met those behind a new food bank which has been set up.

New Bishop of Manchester's anti-poverty message

On the packed tram into the city centre he chatted to and mingled with people heading for the shops and Christmas markets.

Speaking to the M.E.N on the service, he said: “It's been fantastic.

It is what it is, and this ain't said...

Meanwhile Christianity is dying and abandoning its principles, as its age demographic gets ever higher. The diametric opposite of Islam in fact.

Swimmer said...

Any news on Duki baths?

Ourselves Alone said...

@ Congolese native... 'Edmond's selection is reflective of how diverse this constituency is.' Translation: we want votes and will do anything to get them.

The middle class Dubliners welcoming this are doing so to look 'tolerant' but are in fact utterly spineless and petrified of being 'tainted' by dipping a toe outside of the politically correct flow. Of course they're fully aware that they're not affected in their neighbourhoods...for now.
As for Sinn Fein, they'd better look up the definition of Nationalist.

Anonymous said...

Next time you or your elderly relative turns the heating down,
or goes to bed early evening to keep warm,or you order your next pint
and find it hard paying you fuel costs just remember these utter bastards who You VOTE FOR

They should be definitely shackled and placed in stocks and used for stone throwing practice.

How dare politicians have the gall
to even live on our planet,they
must be stopped at all costs because they are bloody laughing at YOU every day.

DESTROY! said...

@ Anonymous 22:01, the ones really responsible are the cretins who keep voting main party.
Next May at the European and council elections the electorate will have an opportunity to give the utterly corrupt, complacent, arrogant and stagnant three party clique that is destroying our country a BLOODY GOOD KICKING. How much more evidence do the morons need before they wake up, grow some balls and ACT before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

So long as people use the tram then its a good investment. At the moment it might not seem like a good deal but for places like Droylesden it could be what kick starts investment into the town centre.

Until now the only option from Ashton was the bus and many people dislike traveling on them because a lot of people who use them are pig ignorant chavs sometimes rude and at time offensive. If it only appeals to "A few well off commuters" thats fine at least they have some money to spend when they arrive. Even better if it gets them to leave the car at home and save paying to park. Less cars on the road is what we need. Not people complaining because the tram has moved into its space.

Its a better class service and would be my first choice rather than a bus any day. It might be "inflexible" in terms of where it can go but thats not a problem if it stops in the right places where the public can make good use of it.

In many European cities trams are widely used and in some cases they still use the old ones. The mistake we made was scrapping the old system. It adds character to cities and a certain charm when you see the old ones still doing a good job.

One mistake i think the metrolink has made is it should of been built so it could run double deck trams to handle more capacity.

Anonymous said...

I would not have thought anyone would want to shop in Droylsden except those people living in Droylsden. With Ashton in one direction and Manchester the other, it hardly represents a tempting shopping or business destination for anyone outside the immediate surrounding area.

It isn't simply the limited scope of travel trams represent, but the rip-off price tag that comes with it. At least that has been my experience of using the service in Manchester.

If we had a better road network that didn't have to cater for an ever expanding population, then travel by both car and bus would be far more agreeable.

Trams may look quaint and cosy, but they're no substitute for the private motor vehicle. Most people who can afford a car will buy one, that's how advantageous they are. And chavs are no more drawn to the bus than they are to the tram.

The proliferation of trams is part and parcel of the dubious 'green' agenda, which (like much else in our society) deserves the two fingered salute treatment. And I very doubt the people who now have to live with those great rumbling chunks of metal rolling past their homes much appreciate the supposed nostalgia they invoke either.

Anonymous said...

People might not see Droylsden as a good place to shop at the moment but if it attracts good businesses to the area then in the long term that may well change. Being closer to all the sports facilities it may well prove to be more popular town to visit than Ashton in future. Lately Ashton is turning into one big poundland with endless supply of cheap trash bargain and charity shops.

M&S has moved out of the Centre, evening entertainment is reduced to karaoke disco and most large retailers prefer to move to the retail parks. Not many shops seem to stick around for long in the arcades. Can't see Ashton being much competition if another town attracts stores that offer better choice with quality products and services.

I don't know anything about the "green agenda" you mention but the tram unlike the bus and car doesn't directly pollute the streets they run on. So we don't have to breathe in any emissions from it whilst going about our daily lives.

Anonymous said...

.. On another note. I don't see the attraction to traveling by car. forever waiting at lights. long tail backs, road works and accidents. Driving on our busy roads is far too stressful. Much easier to let someone else do the driving while you relax.

I don't drive anymore haven't done for years. Last time I got taxi to travel what would of taken me 15 mins to walk it took about 25 mins stuck in traffic all the way. Absolute nightmare. If it wasn't for the baggage I was carrying I would of got out and walked.

Anonymous said...

Discovery in the press
New Scientific finding
The 240-million-year-old site is the "world's oldest public toilet" and the first evidence that ancient reptiles shared collective dumping grounds.
Seems like Tameside gets even more recognition and maybe another Beacon Award.

Anonymous said...

With a vehicle at least you don`t have to walk to a Tram or Bus Station and chance the latest craze
of One Blow Knockout spreading in the US Country.
Or get mugged by an immigrant or the local yobs.

Tramageddon said...

The Metrolink hasn't 'kick started investment', an inflexible outdated, low capacity form of transport that moves a miniscule fraction of the moving public (those who can afford it) will never and can never do anything significant in that direction. The tram is a part 'Green' part 'social inclusivity' agenda driven, totally unnecessary obstructive monstrosity.
The fifteen year gap in tram expansion was unfortunately pushed aside by crank agenda groups. Altrincham which has had the tram longer than anywhere has the highest proportion of closed shops on the high street in the entire United Kingdom.
As for business expansion, successful businesses, which want to survive and thrive, KNOW that catering for the private car (i.e free parking on a large scale) is the key, as 80% of the moving public use this method of transport.
If the tram did twenty times as much work its existence might just be justified but this trundling dinosaur (it doesn't give out emissions, it's powered by electricity which comes from...power stations) forced through by fantasists and social engineers runs smack into the buffers when confronted by economic, social and demographic reality.

Anonymous said...

@anon 11:32

And why exactly should Tameside Council wish to invoke any scheme which would draw existing shoppers away from Ashton to Droylsden instead (ie - from one part of the borough to another)? Tameside Council caters for all areas in Tameside, and it isn't their role to favour one town over another.

Besides, the nearby retail parks are about half distance between the two towns, M&S being nearer to Ashton.

Our roads are being continually cluttered up with junk such as cycles lanes (which are hardly used) and a whole array of street furniture, without adding to it with trams. Whatever amount of money has been squandered on the project it would've been much better spent improving the roads for conventional motor vehicles and / or investing in the railways.

For a country which (seemingly) is unable to afford the relatively simple task of keeping on top of the ever present problem of potholes, this looks like what it most likely is - yet more state funded frivolous waste.

TMBC = Emergency mass dross clearout required said...

Wait for the bus lane cameras AKA TMBC revenue scheme and anti-car lunacy. Whenever you enter Tameside from a surrounding borough the first thing you notice is the massive increase in road furniture, artificial obstructions and traffic lights, most of the latter being accidentally on purpose badly timed or prioritised to destroy traffic flow. Congestion creates pollution, delay, frustration, anger and economic damage, it should be avoided and traffic FLOW prioritised. There are numerous schemes on the continent that have proven the benefits to all road users, road safety and the community in general. Go to Poynton if you want a nearer to home example, where the new mini-roundabout system slows traffic, improves couRtesy and keeps things MOVING.

Anonymous said...

You say its not kick started investment when its only just up and running. The cost of running a car isn't going to get any cheaper for people and more people will likely move onto public transport and I suspect many would prefer the tram if it fits in with their planned journey.

It might be a little more expensive but then getting a bus one day a week for a trip down the road isn't cheap. Only people who get cheap bus travel are those who use them every day on a weekly ticket. Buses have been charging what they like for a long time since the two major companies took over all the smaller ones. Now they see competition they are trying to offer discounts because they know the tram will be popular. It was bus companies that put the old tram network out of business. They bought them with the oil tycoons who had their own agenda. Shut them down and ripped up the tracks to make sure they never came back. Used more oil and built more roads and passengers have no other choice.

Anonymous said...

... By investment I don't just mean shops. If the metro can attract a few employers to open some offices in the area and put more money in peoples pockets that's what will give places like Droylsden a kick start. The rest will follow on. It was never going to be an overnight success. Lets see in 10 years time.

Tramageddon said...

@ Anonymous 06:05, it's been going for 20 years and has had no meaningful effect on the areas it's been going longest in, Altrinchgam with its decimated high streets being the prime example. How is an inflexzible, expensive form of transport that moves a miniscule proportion of the public going to have any significant effect on employers? Things like the M60 which has a massively beneficial effect on the GTR Manchester economy because of the sheer volume and proportion of people it assists to get where they're and its immense capacity are sensible things to invest in.
Buses have been offering discount tickets for many years and £12 or so for seven and a half days travel on any bus (Stagecoach) througout GTR Manchester is extremely good value. It's significantly more expensive on the tram simply for a week's commuting between Ashton and Manchester. You can also get a monthly anybus ticket for about £70, i.e about £2.30 a day. Buses of course are everything the tram is not, flexible, with massively more stops and go into things called housing estates, i.e where people live, they also carry vastly more people than 120 trams ever can. In other words they are cheap, mass transportation, everything totally unnecessary tram isn't.
The tram was dispensed with as it was the worst, most impractical and most troublemaking and obstructive of the three public transport option avaiable along with the train and the bus. That situation has not only not changed, because of the massive population increases it has got significantly worse for the tram, with its low capacity and high expense.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't dispute that the M60 is a vital part of our transport network and contributes way more to the local economy than trams ever can.

From a point of view of medium sized businesses with a number of employees very few these days want to provide car parking spaces. That's where having access to as many public transport systems as possible becomes attractive.

The future of road transport over the next few decades is likely to be dominated by commercial vehicles and a few privileged people who can still afford to run a car. That's my expectations anyway.

When I last worked just outside Manchester Central Zone in a small office of about 40 people almost everyone there used the metrolink regardless of if they owned a car or not. None of them that I can remember used the bus. Suggests to me that people prefer the tram.

Anonymous said...

... The tram is also more likely to appeal to the average train commuter who can switch from train to tram at city centre stations. These people won't see the cost as prohibitive because they already pay a fortune to use the train.

The place I worked at would of taken too long to get to by bus alone and not much better by train and bus. Train and a tram meant I could get to work within a reasonable amount of time and hassle free. And that's one mroe person no longer unemployed putting money back into the system.

Tramageddon said...

@ Anonymous 05:46, No, it suggests that COMMUTERS (usually better off ones) prefer the tram. That fact has already been conceded but it in no way justifies the existence of a system that is expensive, obstructive nature, relatively miniscule capacity and inherent inflexibility of such an out dated railbound system. The vast majority will of course never use it. As for the proposed future decline of the car due to financial reasons, if that DOES happen then cheap, flexible, mass transportation is what will be required, i.e. everything the tram isn't.
'Because they already pay a fortune to use the tram', says it all really.

Anonymous said...

The usually better off commuters travel by car. Lets see how long that lasts. Its not cheaper to run a car that use public transport for most people. No matter which they prefer

Anonymous said...

.. And all that flexibility nonsense sucks of bad planning. If people live in the right places and jobs, goods and services are located in the right places we could dig up most the tarmac. We only need it because people are reluctant to change their flawed lifestyle. Soon enough they wont have a choice.

Tramageddon said...

That 'flexibility nonsense' provided by the private car is what keeps the economy going. Anyone who thinks outdated, low capacity, expensive maintenance, fundamentally insignificant, railbound systems like trams are going to have any meaningful effect on anything is utterly deluded.
As for cars, you can use them for anything, anytime any place, they offer flexibility, practicality and convenience on a different scale to any other method of transport, that's why people are prepared to shell out. As they do 80% of all the work, whatever, theoretically, might replace them will have to damned good and DAMNED high capacity, i.e. not the tram or anything like it.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason capacity on the tram network cannot be increased 10 times further on what is already built. Not to mention the network can be expanded. We have the main arteries up and running now and I expect there will be more plans for its future.

As for the car it has no future when it becomes unfordable to the majority of low paid workers (majority of working class Tameside). Tram system might be expensive to maintain but so are roads.

How many people in Tameside are on min wage zero hours contracts. How many can afford to run a car. For those who have a car good look to them but those that haven't will see a huge benefit to using the tram.

Tramageddon said...

Where will the tram be expanded TO? Ten times expansion is ludicrous, geographically and in terms of the phenomenal cost. There may be a few more minor additions many years ahead if and when the vast amount of money required becomes available.
The tram's problem is, with a paltry 120 vehicles (and let's say it expands to 150 vehicles theoretically) and its extremely expensive infrastruture, it can NEVER offer value for money based on the tiny share of the load it carries, its inherently obstructive, inflexible and expensive nature.
If even a tiny percentage of people tried to switch from the car, ALL public transport (and particularly the tram's insignificant 120 vehicles) would be totally overwhelmed. The roads massively over-repay the investment in them in economic and social terms.
I remember reading a few years ago that 40% of the transport budget goes on rail although it moves only 6% of the moving public, a pathetically inaqequate and unjustififable return. Without the vast taxpayer subsidies to NetworkRail there would BE virtually no trains in the UK as no private companies could afford (or would be prepared to pay) the enormous costs of running, maintaining and upgrading the gigantic and complex infrastucture.
If a cheaper mass form of transportation IS required, especially for cummuters/local road users, in the future it won't be low capacity, inflexible, expensive systems like the tram, or indeed almost anything on rails, they are a minor complement to the private car that does 80% of the work.
As for people on low wages many may be forced to switch to far cheaper forms of commuting transport, for example scooters/mopeds and small capacity mptorcycles which can be run for a fraction of the cost of a car. In many other countries these types of vehicles are far more common, indeed 30 years ago they were everywhere in the UK. Weather protection is a minus, but running costs are a major bonus, as would be the extremely significant reductions in traffic congestion, delay, economic damage and pollution.
Whatever the public transport part of the solution is it will involve cheap, practical, relatively flexible, massive capacity mass tansport like buses. With the projected rocketing population, obstructive, elitist, expensive systems heavily propped up by the taxpayer will have to pull their weight or be removed. The tram was removed a few decades ago and may well be again. It emphatically ISN'T some form of transport of the masses.

Anonymous said...

We will have to disagree then. The new M5000 trams which are set to replace all rolling stock on the metrolink can be doubled up to carry over 400 people per tram. Unlike the T68 trams which have a design fault preventing them from coupling together.

120*400+ means it can carry around 50,000 people at any given time already using the current schedule. Double the schedule add a few extensions to reach some of those places it doesn't reach so far and that could replace a lot of cars on the road. Enough to make a significant difference.

It doesn't have to visit every street corner like buses which take forever and a day to go anywhere. Most people are born with a two fully functioning legs. Not everyone is as a lazy as you might think. The cost fractional for most commuters compared to the cost of running a car and all the added costs that come with it. Who much do roads cost to maintain per car per mile journey? you have any figures for that?

Tramageddon said...

They'll almost certainly only be doubled up on a few lines and then at peak times so those figures are a gross exaggeration, that is IF those types of trams are ever fully implemented. Doubling the schedule is pie in the sky, due to the massive obstructive effect on other traffic, this has caused problems when tried on previous occasions, (especially when set against the feeble capacity return) it's bad enough in many areas, especially the city centre, now.
It won't be extended anywhere other than main roads, that's the tram's nature and one of its most serious flaws. It would only remove a miniscule percentage of the cars on the road due to the massive capacity discrepancy, cars do 80% of the work.
A few thousand people equals a tiny percentage of the overall moving public, the major obstructions to other traffic, the tram's inherent inflexibility, low capacity and expense all fully demonstrate its manifest inferiority. It's no panacea of any kind or it would be spreading nationwide apace, in reality there are only a handful of much smaller examples, often for specialist use to specific sites.
Buses may be slightly slower but they're a LOT cheaper, more flexible and most of the time flow naturally with other traffic, they also don't have phenomenal infrastructure costs and have a lot more stops. Plus, with approximately 2000 buses in GTR Manchester with an average capacity of about 60 that's a maximum capcity (not theoretical) of 120,000 NOW, which given that buses actually move only about 10% of the public reveals what the tram with its current approximately 24,000 capacity (when the extensions are finished in 2016) actual paltry, superfluous and unnecessary contribution is.
I never said anyone was lazy.
The cost of a car is for most people more than rewarded by its supremely flexible, quick, comfortable, safe and convenient nature therefore people are prepared to spend on them, in other words cars cost more because they are better.