Manchester tram will run every 12 minutes until at least September

Manchester's tram network has been hit by staff shortages due to COVID.

The operator will put a temporary reduced timetable across the network which will see trams run every 12 minutes instead of six.

Daily delays have been occurring across the network because staff are either off with coronavirus or self-isolating

The news follows a reduced service last week after damage to 43 trams meant a Sunday service was put in place on 26 July.

Engineering works are also causing disruption across the network this week with no trams across the city centre. Due to a fault the Trafford Park line is also currently not in service.

Metrolink Media City Tram

TfGM issued a statement which read: "Due to covid-related staff absences, and to ensure Metrolink can provide a more reliable and consistent service for customers, a temporary reduced timetable will be in place from Friday 6 August. 

"The temporary change will see trams run every 12-minutes across the network, with all available vehicles used to provide as much capacity as possible and ‘double’ trams operating along the busiest lines. Where possible, and subject to staff availability, additional services will run at the busiest times.

"Services will continue to operate Monday to Thursday 6am to midnight, Friday and Saturdays 6am to 1am and on Sundays 7am to midnight."

Manchester Tram

The statement continues: "Staff for the operator, KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM), are continuing to work extremely hard, in very challenging circumstances, to keep people moving.

"However, daily delays have been occurring across the network because staff are either off with coronavirus, or self-isolating. 

"It is expected that the reduced service will be in place throughout August, and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and KAM is working towards the reintroduction of more frequent services ahead of the return to school and work in early September."

Andy Burnham Get Me There
Andy Burnham promoting the Get Me There app

Last month, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham announced that face coverings would still be mandatory on trams after government restrictions had lifted.

Failure to comply with the new Conditions of Carriage could see passengers refused travel, escorted off Metrolink services - or facing a fine of up to £100. Passengers using bus stations and interchanges will also be required to wear face coverings unless exempt.

Read now: COVID update: Andy Burnham urges public to continue wearing face masks

Read again: Greater Manchester transport looks to the future as bus franchising plans accelerated

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