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Buses for Eccles line as Metrolink points failure causes chaos

A Metrolink points failure at Cornbrook is causing havoc for tram passengers across the network on Thursday afternoon.

The operator says as of 2.30pm, shuttle buses are operating on the Eccles line between Manchester City Centre and MediaCityUK.

The following Metrolink stops on the Eccles line are currently closed: Pomona, Exchange Quay, Salford Quays, Anchorage and Harbour City.

Shuttle buses are expected to run throughout the evening until the end of services between 11pm-11.30pm.

Trams are running between Eccles and MediaCityUK but are going no further.

Metrolink published this map for football fans showing the closure of Eccles line tram stops

Metrolink published this map for football fans showing the closure of Eccles line tram stops

Metrolink tickets are being accepted on the following bus services for the rest of the day: 263, 42, 142, 33, 67 and 100.

In a statement Metrolink said the problem required “a short network-wide shutdown”.

It said: “No root cause for the fault has been identified and further work will be carried out outside of normal operating hours.”

Only trams on the Eccles line were stopped completely.

According to Metrolink the following tram services are running:
* Altrincham – Piccadilly (double trams)
* Altrincham – Bury (peak service until approximately 8pm)
* Bury – Etihad Campus (double trams )
* Eccles – MediaCityUK (no trams operating beyond MediaCityUK)
* East Didsbury – Shaw and Crompton (peak service until approximately 8pm, when services will terminate at Manchester Victoria as per normal timetable)
* East Didsbury – Deansgate-Castlefield (double trams until 8pm)
* Manchester Airport – Cornbrook
* Rochdale – Exchange Square
* Ashton – Piccadilly

Services are expected to be extra busy this evening as Manchester United take on Fenerbache at Old Trafford, while pop star Justin Bieber plays at the Manchester Arena.

Rachel Spencer, TfGM Head of Metrolink Customer Service, said: “I’d like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience experienced today.

“We are working closely with the Metrolink operator, who is responsible for network maintenance and is investigating the nature of the fault, to ensure a speedy fix to the points fault impacting the Eccles junction at Cornbrook.

“In the meantime, we’ve looked at the best possible service we can run for the rest of the day to make sure people can get home, or out to events at Old Trafford and in the city.

“We’ll be running a strengthened Metrolink service, with more double trams on the Altrincham, East Didsbury and Bury lines, and shuttle buses along the Eccles line.

“Additional shuttle buses will complement the usual enhanced commercial bus services that operate on match days.

“I’d encourage customers to keep up to date by checking our website and Twitter feed and allow a little longer than normal for their journey today.”

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