We already knew that the brand new Metrolink line out to the Trafford Centre was set to open a lot earlier than expected – but now we finally have an exact date.
The Trafford Park Metrolink tram line was completed at the start of November, with the last 15 metres of track being laid and the final concrete pour bringing construction on the project to an end.
While TfGM initially predicted trams to be running by late 2020, they then updated this to say the line would be fully open to passengers from April this year.
Now it turns out it’ll actually be open even earlier, on Sunday March 22nd.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “It’s great that the Trafford Park line will open for business on Sunday 22 March. It is a much-needed addition to the Metrolink network and will encourage more people to use public transport to journey around our city-region, and in doing so reduce congestion on our roads and improve the quality of our air.
“Last June I set out Our Network – a vision for the type of world-class transport network I want us to have here in Greater Manchester. This new line is a great step towards that, and a shining example of what we can deliver with the right funding and powers.”
In even better news, the massive new Primark that’s coming to the Trafford Centre is officially opening on Friday March 20th, so you’ll be able to ride the new line out there on the opening weekend.
The popular budget retailer has been busy finishing up its new store at Barton Square ready for its launch this spring.
It’ll be the 190th Primark store to open in the UK, creating more than 300 jobs in the process, and it looks set to be one of the biggest to boot.
As for the new Metrolink line, it will connect the Trafford Centre to the rest of the tram system, with construction costing £350 million.
When it opens, the new line will have six stops on its route, running from the existing Pomona stop all the way to the popular shopping centre.
Everyone in the UK will be able to get 50% off meals out in August
Rishi Sunak has announced a raft of new schemes to help boost the economy post-coronavirus.
The chancellor revealed a range of different measures, in a bid to create jobs.
Speaking to the House of Commons, Mr Sunak laid out the government’s economic plan, saying: “We will do all we can to give everyone the opportunity of good and secure work.”
Speaking about the furlough scheme, Mr Sunak said the scheme will not continue forever, and confirmed that it would wind down in October.
To get people back into their jobs, he announced a reward for employers who bring back workers from furlough, with a bonus of £1,000 for every person they bring back into the workplace.
The chancellor announced a kickstart scheme, which will pay employers to create new jobs for 18-24 year olds, with an emphasis on good quality jobs – the government will pay their wages for six months.
Mr Sunak also said there would be more funding for careers advisers, as well as more traineeships and apprenticeships – there will be a new £2,000 payment for firms who take on apprentices.
It was confirmed that £2bn would be spent on a new green homes grant, with an additional £1bn of funding to improve energy efficiency in public buildings – it’s predicted this will make 650,000 homes more energy efficient and save families £300 a year.
The chancellor slashed VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors – on food, accommodation and attractions – from 20% to 5%, from next Wednesday up until January.
To get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs, Mr Sunak announced everyone in the country would be given 50% off meals and drinks for the whole of August, through a Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
Mr Sunak said: “So for the month of August we will give you a 50% reduction, up to £10 per head, on sit-down meals and non-alcoholic drinks Monday-Wednesday.”
While the full details are yet to be confirmed, it’s believed the government will cover the other half of the bill, up to £10 per head, including children, in a bid to help boost the hospitality industry.
You can find out more info here.
Alton Towers owner is giving away 30,000 free tickets to key workers as a thank you
What an amazing gesture!
Merlin, the owner of Alton Towers, has said it will be donating 30,000 free tickets to key workers in seven different jobs.
The huge theme park based on Staffordshire is massively popular with families and thrillseekers enjoying the rollercoasters, family-friendly attractions and parks.
Alton Towers has announced how they plan to thank all the key workers who have kept the nation going throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
They are donating 30,000 tickets across the globe and reserving 10,000 of these to the UK.
The tickets will offer days out to Alton Towers and other UK attractions including Chessington World of Adventures, LEGOLAND Windsor, Thorpe Park, The Bear Grylls Adventure and some Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE Centres.
Partnerships and Operations Manager at Blue Light Tickets, Will Campbell-Lamerton, said: “In these difficult times, we have been blown away by Merlin’s generosity.
“We know that free tickets to leisure days out will spread the message of ‘thank you’ to NHS, healthcare and emergency service workers, who’ve shown superhero strength and dedication in recent months.
“For those who haven’t been able to spend much time with their families during the COVID-19 lockdown, either as a result of long working hours or social distancing, we hope that a free day out at a Merlin resort/attraction will give some respite to those who need it most.”
Sandra Hazel, Charity Head Merlin’s Magic Wand: “We would like to say a Big Merlin Thank You to the emergency and essential frontline workers who have played a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic.
“Their dedication and tireless effort is hugely appreciated by the whole nation, and we are delighted to be able to offer them a fun day out through the Blue Light Card scheme.”
3,000 of the tickets will be donated equally across 30 companies in the UK, these include:
- Teachers via the ASCL,
- Royal Mail postal staff,
- Compass Group UK & Ireland – the UK’s largest food and support services company (who have been working in healthcare, education and defence as well as supporting key workers within business and industry sectors),
- WHSmith (for their post office colleagues who provided vital postal and banking services on the high street and for their store colleagues across over 100 hospitals who served frontline NHS staff),
- Council workers across the UK including refuse collectors.
- A range of the major high street supermarkets including Tesco
- Food takeaway delivery companies
The two paramedics stabbed on a 999 call starred on reality TV show together
This is awful.
Two paramedics, who star in the reality show Inside the Ambulance, were stabbed while out on a 999 call helping a man.
Paramedic Michael Hipgrave screamed into his radio after he and his colleague, Deena Evans, were attacked on duty in Wolverhampton on Monday afternoon.
A witness reports hearing ‘a blood-curdling scream’ after the paramedics arrived to a 999 call at a home, where a man may have been suffering from a mental health crisis.
Both Hipgrave and Evans were stabbed in the ‘chest area’. Ms Evan’s father has said it seems she was ‘in the wrong place and the wrong time’.
A 52-year-old man was tasered by police and has been arrested on suspicion of wounding.
Both Evans and Hipgrave starred in the Christmas special episode of the series ‘Inside the Ambulance’ last year.
Mr Hipgrave has now been released from Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham where they were both being treated. Ms Evans remains in hospital but is in a stable condition, according to the Mirror.
Ms Evans father told the Sun: “They’ve said she’s stable and she’s going to be OK. From what we know it was just a completely random attack. It just seems like she was in the wrong place and the wrong time.”
Mr Hipgrave’s son Tom tweeted: “My dad was one of the paramedics stabbed in #Wolverhampton. Its awful you can’t be safe at work. Hope you get better dad.”
His daughter Jess wrote: “My Dad was one of the two paramedics stabbed today in Wolverhampton. He was only trying to do his job.
“We are so lucky that we still have our Dad here with us and will be eternally grateful for the crew that helped him and his colleague. Today could have been so much worse.”
A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said on Tuesday: “Two members of staff are continuing to recuperate after they were stabbed by a man they had gone to help yesterday.
“Paramedics Michael Hipgrave and Deena Evans were attending a 999 call on Stephens Close in Wolverhampton at about 12.20pm when the incident took place.
“Michael was released from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, last night and is continuing his recovery at home.
“Deena remains at the same hospital where she is receiving on going treatment; she remains in a stable condition.”
Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer Nathan Hudson said: “Thankfully, both Michael and Deena are recovering well after yesterday’s ordeal.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the hospital for their assistance and for looking after my members of staff in such a professional and caring manner.”
Ms Evans father said his daughter loves being a paramedic and will likely be eager to get back on the frontline as soon as possible. He also praised the police officers who responded and offered his thoughts to the second paramedic.