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Government to spend £120m on further Manchester tram expansion

The Government has committed £120.9 million of funding to the two further extensions on the Manchester Metrolink tram system.

The Department for Transport will contribute the money towards the £170m project, which will see the network extended by 4.5km to East Didsbury and 3.9km to Ashton.

The proposed 4.5km Chorlton to East Didsbury extension will run on the route of a former railway line and will include five new tram stops, connecting Chorlton with Withington, West Didsbury, Burton Road Didsbury Village and East Didsbury.

While the Ashton extension will see 3.9 km of new track laid and four new stops, connecting the town centres of Droylsden and Ashton.

The funding will also pay for six trams to the Metrolink fleet and two new park and ride sites at Ashton Moss and Ashton West for over 600 cars.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive plans to commence main construction works early next year, with the East Didsbury line anticipated to be ready for service in summer 2013 and the Ashton line ready for service in winter 2013/14.

The projects announced today are in addition to the extensions to Oldham, Rochdale, and Chorlton to which the Government agreed to contribute £244 million of funding in May 2008 and which are now under construction.

Once all the extensions have been completed the Metrolink system will be double its current size.