Manchester city centre tram route's green light by Government

Artist impression of a proposed new tram stop in Exchange Square
Image caption The second city crossing plans include a new tram stop in Exchange Square

The Government has approved plans for a second tram crossing through the centre of Manchester.

The crossing would mean extra capacity for trams and will link St Peter's Square with Victoria Station.

Trams will travel along Princess Street, Cross Street and Corporation Street to reach Victoria.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said the scheme was an essential part of the Metrolink expansion. It is expected to be complete by 2016/17.

TfGM can now finalise arrangements for its plans which will see a larger tram stop in St Peter's Square and a new stop in Exchange Square.

Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM committee, said the Second City Crossing (2CC) will play a "vital role in helping to build a strong and prosperous economy" for Greater Manchester.

"We're delighted that the order has been approved and we can now go ahead with appointing a contractor and making a start in the new year," he said.

"It's very necessary to give us the flexibility that having a second crossing will afford us."

Construction work is due to start in 2014.

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