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Metrolink supports statue unveiling

10 December 2018

Metrolink services will continue running through St Peter’s Square on Friday 14 December, when people gather for the unveiling of a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, ‘Our Emmeline’.

Weeks of preparations mean trams will be able move through the square at the same time the event takes place on the penultimate Friday before Christmas, and possibly one of the busiest days for people travelling across Greater Manchester.

Throughout the service, customers will only be able to access St Peter’s Square Metrolink stop from the Princess Street end of the platform.

The unveiling of the statue takes place during a programme of events in St Peter’s Square between 11am and 1.30pm, which is 100 years to the day since the first women voted. That the statue is being unveiled in Emmeline Pankhurst’s home city and where she founded the suffragette movement, makes this an especially poignant event.

During planning, the team from Metrolink and Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Committee recreated the iconic 1908 picture of Emmeline obstructing a tram in Heaton Park with fellow protestors – part of the suffrage movement that achieved equal voting rights for women.

Andrew Simcock, Chair of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Committee, said: “Friday 14 December will be a celebratory occasion that will bring people together to mark the centenary of the first women voting in a UK General Election and the legacy of Emmeline Pankhurst who campaigned and contributed so much to this chapter of history.

“Helping the event in St Peter’s Square to unfold successfully, we are delighted to be working with the team from Metrolink. They will be assisting people with their travel plans in the days ahead of the unveiling and, recognising the significance of the day, will be putting in place a series of measures to ensure that ceremony itself runs without disruption.”

Aline Frantzen, Managing Director at KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM), said: “Times have changed for the better in the last 100 years, and while there is more that needs to be done, there is no need for Emmeline to stop the trams on this occasion!

“It’s vital we help mark this occasion and, at the same time, run the best service possible on what will undoubtedly be one of the busiest days on the network in 2018 with many out shopping and celebrating the festive season.

“By doing this, KAM is delivering on its commitment to keep Greater Manchester moving every day and continually improving how we manage large events that makes Greater Manchester such a dynamic city-region. Our aim is to have just short pauses of four and five minutes at the most poignant times of the unveiling ceremony to minimise any disruption to our customers.”

KAM has worked closely with the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Committee and Manchester City Council events team to put measures in place, such as additional staff in the square, to help manage the crowds while trams continue running through St Peter’s Square.

These measures should minimise disruption and, while there may be some delays, mean that Metrolink should not have to run replacement buses on what will also be a busy day on the road network.

For full details on the Our Emmeline unveiling, including timings, click here.