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First look: Manchester’s new Exchange Square Metrolink trams revealed in Second City Crossing

Roads are being ripped up in the centre of Manchester to make way for Metrolink’s Second City Crossing, and today transport bosses unveil new images of their Exchange Square tram stop.

Trams are set to run along key routes in the city centre, around Manchester Town Hall, through the heart of the shopping district towards the Manchester Arndale centre and Exchange Square.

It’s part of a £1bn blowout under the guise of the Greater Manchester Transport Fund, which Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) say will create 21,000 new jobs.

Foundations are now being laid on Corporation Street outside the shopping centre, with work expected to be complete by the end of 2015.

Steel and glass shelters will include ‘floating’ panels on the platforms, while seating will be integrated into polished concrete blocks.
The Second City Crossing was fast-tracked earlier this year thanks to a major grant from the European Regional Development Fund and is due to be finished by 2017.

It includes changes to the Deansgate-Castlefield stop and relocating and expanding the St Peter’s Square stop from two platforms to four.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “We’re seeing real progress with the Second City Crossing with track works well advanced along Corporation Street and work due to start this summer on brand new stops for St Peter’s Square and Exchange Square.

“The ultramodern designs for the new Exchange Square stop are impressive and it will be a great addition to a lively area of the city, making it even easier to visit the great range of shops, cultural and leisure destinations in the area.

“The Second City Crossing also promises to improve travel both across the city and further afield, with more trams connecting more people with jobs.”
Councillor Kate Chappell, Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, said: “The new stop will not only look fantastic, it’s been designed with the tram user in mind, providing the best possible experience for the tens of thousands of visitors who will use it to get to the heart of the city centre’s shopping area.

“The stop will also form part of the Second City Crossing, making it easier for people to travel across Manchester and access a huge range of jobs.”

The Second City Crossing will run begin on Lower Mosley Street and run through St Peter’s Square, down Princess Street, along Cross Street and Corporation Street and into Manchester Victoria station.

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.