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I haven't got all the time in the world...
Member Name: Clurbur85
Date: 12/11/09, updated on 12/11/09 (115 review reads)
Advantages: When it works it's good.
Disadvantages: There are often delays, it is expensive and staff don't communicate problems.
The Manchester Metrolink system operates between Manchester and Bury; Manchester and Altrincham; and Manchester and Eccles. Despite Mancunian residents rejecting the proposed congestion charge, the system has recently been overhauled and there are now new tracks on within the city centre and new ticket machines and shelters at the stops within the city centre.
The track alterations took about six months to complete, which effected travel between Altrincham and Manchester; and Eccles and Manchester. However normal service resumed last month (in October 2009) and from a travellers perspective the service is now worse than ever.
The reasons why the tracks were closed in the first place aren't really apparent, but customers were informed that the tracks needed replacing and they have been running since 1992 so I suppose that is a good enough justification. While work was going on the Altrincham and Eccles trams had to stop at G-Mex and take it in turns to drop passengers off at St Peter's Square. Now all trams are running through the city centre.
My two major gripes with the Metrolink service are the price and the lack of communication. If I am paying £2.80 for a return ticket into the city centre then I expect to at least be informed of any delays or problems.
A few nights ago I was stood waiting for an Eccles tram for 40 minutes (they are supposed to come every 10 / 15 minutes), in the time I was waiting four Altrincham trams went past. So I approached a member of staff to see what was going on, she explained that there was no phone to the control rooms she had no way of telling me. This infuriated me, the company have paid out millions for new ticket machines, shelters and seats, but designers didn't think that a phone would be a priority? What a joke!
I just the trams to get to and from work five days a week and I'd say that I experience substantial delays at least three times each week and considering the price I pay I feel this is unacceptable.
If you have time to spare and you want to go shopping in Manchester city centre then I would recommend this service, but if you are using it day in and day out then it will become stressful.
Summary: If you can avoid using this system day in, day out, then do.
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