A NEW zonal pricing system for the Metrolink has been given the green light.

Council leaders have approved the four zone ticketing system, which promises better value fares for millions of passengers across the network.

The new ticketing system will come into effect early next year, alongside the pre-planned fare increase.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, said: “A zonal system on Metrolink is the springboard to a better integrated, simpler and easier to use transport network.

“Simplifying the fares and ticketing system in Greater Manchester will ultimately make travelling by public transport a more attractive option, which is absolutely vital if we are to tackle congestion and improve air quality – two of the most challenging issues facing us today.”

According to transport bosses, nearly 80 per cent of fares will be cheaper under the new zonal system.

But some journeys will end up costing more, with nearly 12 percent of tickets undergoing a price hike. The remaining 10 per cent of fares will be unaffected.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) provisionally approved the plans in May, subject to the results of a public consultation.

Over 70 per cent of respondents found the new zonal prices easy to understand. More than half the respondents agreed that it would prove more convenient and 42 per cent felt it would offer better value for money.

As a result of the public survey, transport chiefs made one change to the zones, replacing Besses o’ th’ Barn with Whitefield as the zone 3/4 ‘boundary stop’.