WORK to expand park and ride facilities at Whitefield Metrolink station will start this month.

The construction of the upper parking deck, which will ultimately increase parking capacity from 127 to 216 spaces, begins on Monday, January 13.

Work will take place during normal working hours and will require the car park to be closed for about five months.

Alternative Metrolink park and ride facilities are available at Radcliffe and Bury, which are free to Metrolink customers with a valid ticket. Additionally, work on expanding the parking facilities at Radcliffe will begin in the spring.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Committee, said: “Park and ride facilities are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money and help ease congestion in the city centre.

“Due to their popularity, the facilities at Radcliffe and Whitefield are starting to reach their maximum capacity. That’s why TfGM is expanding the car parks at both sites, which are provided free of charge to passengers.

“To minimise the impact, TfGM has staggered the works to allow the maximum number spaces available over the shortest programme.

“Work has also been timed to take place during the first quarter of the year, when there are fewer passengers on the Metrolink.”

Last August, Bury Council’s planning committee approved two applications from TfGM to add new decks to parking facilities at the Whitefield and Radcliffe Metrolink stops.

The work will increase the overall combined number of car parking spaces from 377 to 580, a 52 per cent increase, with the aim of reducing congestion on the busy road network.

Public information events were held at both sites last May to inform users about TfGM’s proposals and to invite feedback.