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Corporate Offer - Cycle Hub

New Metrolink zonal fares set to deliver simplicity, flexibility and better value

Lee Howarth


A radical change to Metrolink fares and ticketing could see a simple, flexible four zone system introduced – delivering easy to understand and better value fares for millions of passengers across the network.

The change, which is set to be considered by council bosses at a meeting of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) this week, would see the introduction of a completely new approach to fares and ticketing and would sweep away the existing system – replacing it with an easy to understand four zone system similar to London’s travel network.

If approved by GMCA, the change, which would take place early next year (2019), would cut the current 8,500 stop-to-stop fare combinations to just 10 zone-based fares.

Customers will be able to enjoy flexible travel across the city-region, providing unlimited travel within their chosen zones, instead of one-off journeys between specific stops.

It would also help to pave the way for a fully-integrated ticketing system for Greater Manchester.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, said: “The fares and ticketing system in Greater Manchester is too complex, too disjointed and in need of an overhaul.

“I speak to a lot of people who ask me: 'Why can’t we have a system like London?' – and it’s a fair question, as anyone who’s travelled there knows just how ahead they are when it comes to fares and ticketing.

“But, devolution gives us the opportunity to put this right and develop a system that is simple, convenient and offers better value for money.

“We’re already seeing signs of this; we’ve introduced combined bus and tram tickets to our smart cards and will see contactless payment introduced on Metrolink later in the year.

“But zonal is the real building block that will set the foundations for a system that is integrated, that allows people to swap seamlessly between modes, offers the freedom to enjoy more journeys for the same price and represents a fair fare for all.”

Ahead of any potential change, customers will be able to enjoy easier journeys by using contactless payments to quickly tap on and off trams.

Under current proposals the majority of zonal fares would be set to the lowest current prices, meaning most customers will not pay more than the pre-planned increases for 2019, with their tickets instead providing better value for money.

A zonal system would also remove pricing differences within the current fare structure, making it fairer for all, and bring Metrolink in line with many other European tram networks that have similar structures.

Customers would be able to use all existing and future ticketing and payment channels to travel, including: contactless payment, paper tickets or the get me there app or smart card.

A map of the proposed zones has been produced.

A public listening exercise is set to run ahead of any final decision being made about the proposed change. This will include an online questionnaire to gather feedback.

A chance to talk about the Trafford Park Line

Lee Howarth


People can learn more about Metrolink’s new Trafford Park Line at two public events being held later this month.

Hosted by Transport for Greater Manchester the events offer members of the public the chance to meet staff working on the project so that they can ask questions and get more information.

Due to be completed in 2020 the Trafford Park Line will add 5.5km and six new tram stops to the Metrolink tram network. Running through Trafford Park, Europe’s largest trading estate, to intu Trafford Centre, it will provide fast and frequent connections to the jobs, leisure, shopping and cultural destinations along the route.

The events will be held on:

Saturday 19 May 2018
Intu Trafford Centre, Lower Peel Avenue (Near Breitling)
10am to 9pm

Wednesday 23 May 2018
The Open Centre, MediaCityUK
10am to 2pm

Richard Roe, Trafford Council’s Acting Corporate Director of Economic Growth, Environment and Infrastructure, said:

“The Trafford Park Line is a hugely important scheme for Trafford Park. It will be a vital connection through to intu Trafford Centre and the jobs and cultural destinations along the route. This area is vitally important to our local economy, providing tens of thousands of jobs, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors and helping to deliver continued growth, investment and regeneration.

"These public events are a great opportunity for people to find out more about the plans, hear more about all the benefits this new line will bring to the area, and share their views and feedback. I encourage anyone with an interest to go along and talk to members of staff involved in the project.”

Alex Cropper, TfGM’s head of projects group, said:

“Initially, five trams per hour will run on the route from Crumpsall on the Bury line through the city centre and Pomona to intu Trafford Centre, with the capacity to boost the service for football matches, special events and to meet growing demand.

“I’d encourage anyone who is interested in the new line to come along. We’ll have videos of trams running along the new route and maps of the revised highway layout, including the new infrastructure we are building for cyclists.”

Stay on track and plan ahead before the big weekend

Lee Howarth

Runners, spectators and anyone planning to travel through Manchester city centre are being advised to plan ahead in preparation for another big weekend of sport and events in the region.

The big weekend starts with the Great City Games, on Friday 18 May, followed by The Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run on Sunday 20 May. The size and locations of the events mean that there’ll be changes to public transport and a number of local roads will be subject to closure and bus route diversions – particularly on the day of the run.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has developed a dedicated web page, offering information and travel advice, and will be implementing a number of measures to help those travelling make their journeys as easy and as stress free as possible.

TfGM’s Events Manager, Ryan Carter, said: “We’ve worked closely with event organisers and transport operators to make sure the marathon and transport arrangements run as smoothly as possible.

“There will be extra trams running and with stops at the start and finish – as well as at key locations along the route - I’d encourage runners, spectators, families and friends to use Metrolink to travel to the event wherever possible.

“There are also hundreds of free Park and Ride spaces for customers available across the tram network and additional staff will be on hand on hand to help people get around.

“We are expecting large numbers so the best thing to do is to plan ahead and allow extra time for journeys.

“We’ll be monitoring the transport networks from our 24 hour Control Centre and I’d encourage people to keep an eye on our website and Twitter account for the latest travel information and advice.”

TfGM Walk to Work Day - 15th May 2018

Lee Howarth

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Staff at TfGM are taking to the streets to walk to work on Tuesday 15 May as part of this year’s Greater Manchester Walking Festival. 

We’re encouraging partners and colleague’s to join us, whether that be the whole journey or part of the journey by getting off the bus/tram/train a stop early.

All we ask is that you share the love of walking by sharing your pics on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #TfGMWalking.

And if you're inspired to do more walking we have hundreds of walks to choose from as part of the Greater Manchester Walking Festival.

Full details of all the walks are online:

Any questions email:


Carragh Teague

Walking Coordinator

Transport for Greater Manchester

2 Piccadilly Place, Manchester, M1 3BG

Tel: 0161 244 1145

Best foot forward for festival’s fourth year

Lee Howarth

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Whether its bees, birdsong, bats or berries – there’s something for everyone at the fourth annual Greater Manchester Walking Festival.

Running from Tuesday 1 to Thursday 31 May, the festival has increased in size yet again, and is now offering 369 free guided walks exploring local towns, cities, countryside, canals, riversides and parks across Greater Manchester.

The festival is being coordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), with support from many local walking groups and charities, and aims to showcase all that the region has to offer.

Walks cater for all abilities and interests, whether it’s an easy-on-the-legs family story ramble through the Wigan countryside or a more challenging evening trek around Blackstone Edge to watch the sun set.

There are also some more quirky and imaginative walks to get involved in, such as a stroll around Peel Park with a bat detector or a wheelchair-friendly mountain trike ramble around Dovestone Reservoir.

A special launch event will kick-start the festival proceedings at the Whitworth Gallery on Thursday 26 April, coinciding with the start of the gallery’s ‘Thursday Lates’ series. Members of the public are welcome to attend the event, which starts at 6pm.

The full list of walks can be found at The Greater Manchester Walking Festival website.

Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, Chris Boardman MBE, said: “Since it first ran in 2015, more and more people annually have been using the Greater Manchester Walking Festival as the inspiration to start leading a more active life; to get their kids spending more time outdoors; to meet up with old friends and, in many cases, to make new ones.

“So why not get involved this year by trying out some of the vast and varied range of led walks or by walking more of your shorter journeys and experience your area from a new perspective?

“We sometimes forget just how pleasurable getting around on foot can be – now is the time to truly embrace it and form new habits.”

Fed up with her fading fitness, low energy levels and weight gain, Liz Sabel, 45, from Oldham joined a work-based lunchtime walking club in November last year.

Liz, who is a finance manager for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The first lunchtime walk I did saw me at the back of the group. I had to ask that we stop halfway round so I could get my breath back, but I felt good. I’d taken that first step after saying for months ‘I must do more exercise’.

“When we went on the same walk a few weeks ago, I was near the front of the group and no longer felt the need to stop halfway round.”
In addition to improving her physical fitness, Liz has been inspired by the benefits to make other changes too.

“I find it a good way to get a bit of fresh air during the day and I go back to my desk feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

“Seeing the improvement to my physical and mental health, I’ve started getting off the tram a few stops early on my way to work. I had to change part-way anyway so instead of swapping, I started walking. After a while, I started doing the same route on the return journey.”

By making these small changes to her daily routine, Liz has added thirty minutes of exercise per day and having timed the walk, she found that it wasn’t adding any significant time to her commute.

She has now well and truly caught the walking bug, joining a challenge with her workmates to do 10,000 steps per day for a month, and even taking on Couch to 5k training.

Funded by the Department for Transport, the Greater Manchester Walking Festival is part of TfGM’s Walking Works project, encouraging people to make a walk part of their daily routine.

Copies of the festival brochure, which has details of all the walks, are available in TfGM Travelshops and other outlets across Greater Manchester, or can be ordered by emailing

On social media, check out the GM Walking Festival Facebook page or search for the #TfGMWalking hashtag on Twitter.

MediaCityUK – MCUKBUG invite for meeting

Lee Howarth

MediaCityUK and TfGM are initiating an online bicycle user group (MCUKBUG) and we would love to hear from you for any involvement / ideas you might contribute in the setting up of this exciting development in the world of cycling at MediaCityUK. A group of us will be meeting at The Dockyard, Media City: Thursday 19th April from 5.30pm-6.30pm with the aim of discussing the shape of the BUG and its development. We can only do that with your involvement so in order that we can meet the needs of the users, please come along and get involved.

We’re passionate about cycling at TfGM and we’re sure some of you are too, so your input could make all the difference! Hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you then!

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