The Metrolink tram network in Manchester is continuing its expansion with a connecting line to Droylsden set to be opened in February.

Officials noted that this latest development will provide a key route to Tameside and will be open for people to use on February 11th. Residents will also be given the opportunity to try out the service for free before the official opening day, as a way of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) saying thank you for their patience during the construction phase of this development.

It is part of the much wider expansion plans of the Metrolink, which has been extended to the likes of Oldham and MediaCityUK in Salford Quays.

The Droylsden route will comprise of 3.9 miles of track and visit stations such as New Islington, Holt Town, Etihad Campus, Velopark, Clayton Hall, Edge Lane, Cemetery Road and Droylsden.

The Etihad Campus stop will provide ideal access for football supporters heading to Manchester City games, which have previously been off the Metrolink network, with those going to the match having to use special buses from the city centre.

It will put the Etihad Stadium within easy reach of the heart of Manchester and give it the same access which Manchester United's Old Trafford has.

Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said: "We're now entering the final stages of the programme for the new line to Droylsden, which means we’re getting ever closer to that landmark moment when we open the doors to passengers for the first time."

The Drolysden route is just one part of the Metrolink expansion project which looks to connect Manchester with the likes of Ashton-under-Lyne, Rochdale, Oldham, Didsbury and Manchester Airport.

There are also plans in the works to provide another cross-city route allowing easier access between Victoria and Deansgate. The construction process is due to be fully completed by 2016 giving the north-west a brand new transport network rivalling the likes of London and Nottingham.

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