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Manchester widens tram network

Plans to extend the tram network in Greater Manchester have been approved with the leaders of all ten local authorities in the region agreeing to invest £0.5 billon into the Greater Manchester Transport Fund for three future extensions to the line.

By the spring of 2014 trams will run forward to Rochdale and Oldham town centres and by 2016 they will reach to the Manchester Airport.

The extensions are predicted to be a large boost and aid to the Greater Manchester area.

The decision to provide funding was made at the Friday meeting of the AGMA (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities).

Chair of the AGMA executive, Lord Peter Smith, stated that public transport plays a large role in supporting the economy of Greater Manchester and adding Metrolink extensions will help provide a much needed boost to the region.

Vice Chair of the GMITA and Councillor Keith Whitmore stated that the announcement is historical and great news for the region.  He added that it is a great step towards creating a 21st century public transport network for the area and that both the AGMA and GMITA worked together to reach this stage and they cannot wait to break ground.

The Manchester Airport has also offered to make a contribution to the funding of the extension.

The GMITA said that fourteen new trams will service the extended lines and have been ordered.

Additionally, the Department of Transport confirmed that the routes to Ashton Under Lyne and East Didsbury lines will receive their funding as planned despite government funding cuts.

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