Metrolink services to and from Oldham Mumps are scheduled to open to the public for the first time in June, subject to final testing. The first in-service tram to Oldham Mumps is scheduled to leave Manchester Victoria at 5.24am on Wednesday, calling at all eight stops along the new line - Monsall, Central Park, Newton Heath & Moston, Failsworth, Hollinwood, South Chadderton, Freehold and Oldham Mumps (temporary).
It will then become the first in-service tram to depart Oldham Mumps, leaving at 6am.
Journeys from Mumps to Manchester city centre will take around 25 minutes.
Services will run every 12 minutes. A six-minute service will be introduced as patronage grows and capacity through Manchester city centre increases.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “This is an historic day for Oldham and the Metrolink network. From next week, people will be able to make brand new journeys from brand new stops on brand new trams and tracks.
“For the first time, people will be able to travel to and from Monsall, Central Park, South Chadderton and Freehold on this line, so we are opening up new and exciting opportunities.
“Of course, Oldham is a brand new destination for Metrolink and I encourage everyone to take a tram ride to see all the great things the borough has to offer.
“Today also marks the latest stage of a massive expansion of the Metrolink network that will bring our trams to even more new destinations and open up even more opportunities for businesses and communities.
“It’s a very exciting time but, like any major project, it is not without its challenges and I am grateful for the patience that has been shown as we work through them to deliver these new lines.”
Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, said: “To have Metrolink up and running will be a hugely significant and exciting day in the history of our borough.
“The arrival of the tram has been a long time coming and we must make sure we keep to the agreed timetable for the town centre route as it is central to our future prospects.
“This is the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken here and we believe it will act as a catalyst to create new jobs and opportunities.
“Work continues now on the town centre extension and Oldham Council is firmly focused on trying to deliver major improvements on that front.
“This includes the proposed redevelopment of the Old Town Hall, for example, plus the Hotel Future scheme and improvements to the public realm which will help us to forge a new family-oriented leisure economy.
“It is essential to our plans to get people to see Oldham differently - as a place with excellent new infrastructure and opportunities, but also a place that is ‘open for business’ and has a real commitment to making things happen.”
Tickets to any of the stops in Manchester city centre, up to and including Deangsate-Castlefield, start at £3.20 for a peak ‘anytime’ single from the Oldham Mumps-Failsworth stops, or £2.30 from the Newton Heath & Moston-Monsall stops.
An ‘anytime’ return ticket for the same trip will be £4.80 from the Oldham Mumps-Failsworth stops, and £3.40 from the Newton Heath & Moston-Monsall stops. Off-peak (9.30am onwards) equivalents will be £3.50 and £2.80 respectively.
Further savings can be made with special day, weekend, family and group passes, as well as longer term tickets, including weeklies, four-weeklies, quarterlies and annuals.
Monsall, Central Park, Freehold and South Chadderton are all brand new destinations, while the stops at Mumps, Hollinwood, Failsworth and Newton Heath & Moston, which were served by the Oldham Loop until it closed as a heavy rail line in October 2009, have been completely rebuilt.
Once complete, the decked car park at Hollinwood, which is currently under construction, will provide almost 200 park-and-ride spaces exclusively for the use of Metrolink passengers. Up to 100 spaces will be provided in the interim.
As part of Metrolink’s commitment to improving cycle parking facilities across the existing and future network, cycle stands are available at Freehold, Hollinwood, Failsworth, Newton Heath & Moston and Monsall, with cycle lockers also available at Freehold, Hollinwood and Failsworth.
All services will call through Manchester city centre and then travel on to the South Manchester line, ending at St Werburgh’s Road in Chorlton.
Passengers can connect with services to Bury at Victoria and services to Altrincham, Eccles and MediaCityUK in Manchester city centre or at Cornbrook. They can also link up with bus services at Central Park and Shudehill, or heavy rail services at Manchester Victoria.