Just months after it opened, the transformational new Metrolink line through the heart of Manchester city centre has scooped its first industry award.
The Metrolink Second City Crossing – linking St Peter’s Square with Victoria Station – picked up the ‘Transport Policy, Planning & Implementation’ award at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport ‘North West Region Awards for Education & Excellence’.
And the man responsible for delivering the new line, former Metrolink Director Peter Cushing, was honoured with the ‘Services to the Passenger Transport Industry’ award – in recognition of his work in the rail and light rail industries, including overseeing the £1.5bn expansion of Metrolink into the largest light rail network in the country.
The £165m, 1.3km Second City Crossing formed the final part of the Metrolink expansion programme, which has seen major extensions to MediaCityUK, East Didsbury, Rochdale via Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Airport.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “I’m very pleased to see Peter’s hard work in the transport industry – and in delivering the expanded Metrolink network for Greater Manchester – recognised with this award.
“The new city centre tram line has been an immediate success, linking some of the city’s key employment, leisure and shopping areas.
“The new Exchange Square stop and redevelopment of St Peter’s Square – the busiest stop on the entire network – have been great for the tram network and the city centre.
“The Second City Crossing is allowing more people than ever to travel on a more reliable network with more than 37 million annual customer journeys now made on Metrolink.”
Peter Cushing, who recently handed over the day-to-day running of the Metrolink network to his successor Danny Vaughan, is currently overseeing the change in Metrolink operator from RATP Dev UK Ltd to KeolisAmey.
He said: “It’s an incredible honour to have your life’s work recognised by the industry. Metrolink has been a fantastic success for the people of Greater Manchester and I’m privileged to have been involved and able to work with some of the best people in the business.
“The Second City Crossing was the final piece in the jigsaw of a multi-million pound programme of investment and improvement for the city, so I’m delighted to see all the hard work of everyone involved in delivering this project, from planning to opening, recognised by the industry with this award.”
The Second City Crossing was delivered on time and budget by TfGM, delivery partner WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and contractor M-Pact Thales (MPT), a consortium of VolkerRail, Laing O’Rourke and Thales. The same team is now building the new six-stop Trafford Park line.
MPT Project Director, Bryan Glass, said: “We’re delighted that the Metrolink project has been recognised by the CILT. Winning industry awards of this kind are great recognition for the M-Pact Thales team and our client TfGM, as everyone involved is fully committed to delivering an excellent tram system for Manchester’s city centre.
“I’d also like to congratulate Peter Cushing for his work and contribution to both rail and light rail, he fully deserves the award for ‘Services to the Passenger Transport Industry’.”