Metrolink takes another step forward

The arrival of Metrolink in Oldham town centre is taking another step forward this week with work beginning to clear some trees and vegetation along the route of the new line.

The clearance is set to commence at the beginning of this week and is expected to take approximately four weeks to complete, with the majority of work taking place around Middleton Road, Manchester Street roundabout and Oldham Way.

To limit environmental impact, Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) has carried out a number of detailed ecological surveys in the area, including recording the number of trees, and will put in place measures to safeguard protected species.

Philip Purdy, GMPTE’s Metrolink Director, said: “We take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and are committed to doing all we can to mitigate impact on the environment when building the new Metrolink lines.

“We will only remove trees which we must remove in order to build the new Oldham town centre line; where it is not necessary to remove trees or vegetation, we will not.

“As part of our environmental policy, we are also committed to providing more trees than we remove and we will put in place measures to safeguard protected species and offer improved wildlife habitats, as agreed with Natural England.”

Construction on the new Metrolink line from Manchester to Oldham and Rochdale is already underway with the line to open to Central Park and Oldham Mumps this year and to Rochdale railway station in 2012.

Work has also started on the extensions through Oldham and Rochdale town centres, which are expected to be complete in 2014, providing a tram every six minutes to Manchester city centre and a tram every twelve minutes to Rochdale.

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