Metrolink’s new line through the heart of the city centre, the ‘Second City Crossing’ (2CC), won Construction and Engineering Project of the Year at the National Transport Awards last night (Thursday 12 October), while the Bus Priority Package – which includes the North West’s first guided busway and the transformation of Manchester’s Oxford Road corridor – picked up an award for Improvements to Bus Services.
2CC is the latest £165m extension of Metrolink and marked the completion of the network’s phenomenal £1.5bn expansion programme, which has seen it grow to three times its original size.
The new line offers new links and more frequent trams through Manchester city centre, as well as improved service reliability and greater operational flexibility for a network now responsible for more than 40m passenger journeys a year. The line, as with the rest of the ‘big bang’ expansion programme, was constructed by M-Pact Thales (MPT), a consortium of Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Thales, and delivered in partnership with WSP.
The £122m Bus Priority Package has delivered new and improved bus links through Manchester city centre across 25 miles of the network, from Leigh and Salford in the west and Middleton in the north.
Including a guided busway – which has seen more than 3m journeys made since it opened in April last year, bus priority measures along the East Lancs Road, cross-city bus links and a transformed Oxford Road, the project is one of the most ambitious TfGM has ever delivered.
Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “The National Transport Awards are effectively the Oscars of the transport industry, so to see two of our schemes scoop top prize is absolutely fantastic.
“Both are marvellous projects that have transformed the public transport landscape across the city region.
“We’ve seen incredible uptake on the Busway and the transformed Oxford Road is gold standard in terms of cycling infrastructure, while 2CC is providing resilience and enhancing operational capability on the tram network, which is also enjoying continued growth in passenger numbers.
“A massive thank you from me to all those involved; our staff and that of all our partners and contractors.”
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