PASSENGERS of the Altrincham Metrolink will benefit over the festive period with more double trams now running at peak times.

Two additional trams on the Altrincham line have now been launched, allowing more single unit services to run as ‘doubles’.

The extra trams will allow space for around 400 extra passengers to travel every hour at peak times between Altrincham and Etihad Campus - one of Metrolink's busiest lines and carried more than 40 per cent of all passenger journeys last year.

Significant investment by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) into new substations the Altrincham line is now complete, providing additional power and resilience.

Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, said: “Passengers have raised concerns about overcrowding on this line in recent weeks and I have been in discussions with transport providers to ensure action is taken to respond to these concerns. So I'm really pleased to see this announcement.

“Investment in transport infrastructure in Greater Manchester is vital – not only to help people get about, it’s also crucial to supporting the continued economic growth of the city-region.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Metrolink is going from strength-to-strength and these additional trams will provide much needed extra capacity on our busiest lines.

“The recent investment we’ve made into our infrastructure has made this possible and I’m delighted that customers are already reaping the benefits."

While all seven Metrolink lines are seeing a rise in patronage, the Altrincham line is one of Metrolink’s busiest. Last year they carried more than 40 per cent of all passenger journeys.

Head of Metrolink, Danny Vaughan, said: “We know more trams are needed so that Metrolink can continue to grow and keep people moving.

“This represents the first step in addressing capacity issues and, while it remains early days, I’d like to reassure all of our customers, regardless of the line they use, that we are working hard to ensure extra capacity is delivered as quickly as is practicable.

“On that basis we are looking closely at funding options now to buy extra trams to provide additional capacity across the network and sustain its future growth.”