THE first of three new-style Metrolink trams with extra seating was up and running this week.

Sporting a new interior layout, tram numbers 3075, 3076 and 3077 are the first three of an order for 30 new M5000 vehicles placed with Austrian manufacturer Bombardier.

They have eight extra seats, taking the total to 60 seats per tram.

The revised layout is based on customer feedback gleaned from a Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) survey undertaken in late 2011 and developed in consultation with Metrolink’s Disability Design Reference Group.

Additional hand holds have also been incorporated to address another point raised by the survey.

The trams were delivered to the Queens Road depot in November and December last year, where they underwent a rigorous safety testing process.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the TfGM Committee said: “The new layout and seating are a direct result of us acting on feedback. What these improvements demonstrate is that not only do we listen to our customers and value their feedback, but we also attach great importance their comfort and convenience.

“The rest of this new fleet of vehicles will be put into service over the next couple of years, following the replacement of the remaining old-style T68 models still in service and providing the extra capacity to support the ongoing expansion of the network.”