News Releases

Stagecoach signs Manchester Metrolink contract

29 May 2007

Stagecoach Group plc is pleased to confirm that it has signed a contract with Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive ("GMPTE") to operate and maintain the Manchester Metrolink tram network.

GMPTE announced on 3 April 2007 that Stagecoach Metrolink had been selected as its preferred bidder for a combined contract to operate and maintain the 37km Manchester Metrolink system and the associated infrastructure.

The 10-year contract, which is expected to commence in July, will include managing a number of special projects sponsored by GMPTE to improve the trams and infrastructure to benefit passengers. Stagecoach Metrolink will also be responsible for operating tram services on the new Metrolink lines to Oldham, Rochdale, Droylsden and Chorlton.

Ian Dobbs, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group's Rail Division, said: "We are delighted to have signed the contract to run Manchester's Metrolink network, making Stagecoach Britain's biggest tram operator.

"We are working closely with the existing operator, Serco, and GMPTE to ensure a smooth transition for employees and customers.

"We believe there is significant potential for growth on the Metrolink network and we will be working hard on our detailed plans to improve further the high quality of service provided to the thousands of customers who use the system every day."


For further information, please contact:
Steve Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications, Stagecoach Group
Tel: 01738 442111 or mobile 07764 774680



Metrolink is currently operated by Serco and runs four routes:

  • Altrincham - Manchester City Centre - Bury
  • Altrincham - Manchester Piccadilly Rail Station
  • Bury - Manchester Piccadilly Rail Station
  • Eccles - Manchester Piccadilly Rail Station

Nearly 20 million passengers travel every year on the Metrolink network, which generates an annual turnover of around £22million.

Stagecoach Group

Stagecoach Group is a leading international transportation group, with extensive bus and rail operations in the UK and North America. The Group's businesses operate around 12,000 vehicles and rolling stock, and employ around 27,000 people.

Stagecoach currently operates more than 7,000 buses and employs around 20,000 people at its UK Bus division, which includes 19 regional operating companies. Its network stretches from south-west England to the Highlands of Scotland, covering major cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Hull, Oxford and Cambridge, as well as key shire towns and rural areas.

Stagecoach Manchester operates around 660 buses in South Manchester, including Trafford, Stockport, Tameside and Glossop. The company employs around 1,700 staff and carries 82 million passengers a year.

Stagecoach operates the Supertram network in Sheffield, a 29km tram system incorporating three routes in the city, on a 27-year concession running until 2024.

Stagecoach operates the South Western rail franchise, which includes the South West Trains and Island Line networks. South West Trains, the UK's biggest commuter rail network, runs nearly 1700 trains a day in the south-west of England out of London Waterloo. Island Line, on the Isle of Wight, has been designated a Community Rail Partnership. In addition, Stagecoach has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the CrossCountry and West Coast inter-city rail franchises.

Stagecoach Group is shortlisted for the East Midlands rail franchise, which runs from November 2007.

Virgin Rail Group has been shortlisted for the new Cross Country franchise, also commencing in November 2007.

A Stagecoach-Virgin joint venture, inter city – railways ltd, has been shortlisted for the InterCity East Coast rail franchise, which is expected to start in autumn 2007.