Rochdale Borough Council leader Richard Farnell has welcomed the appointment of a new operator for the Greater Manchester tram network and said they will bring significant benefits to the service which is used by thousands of the borough's residents.
KeolisAmey will run the region's trams from July, taking over from existing operator, RATP Dev Ltd.
Spearheaded by Councillor Farnell, Rochdale and Oldham councils are currently locked in a battle with Manchester transport bosses to get a direct link between the Rochdale line and Manchester Piccadilly station established. This would ensure commuters and travellers from both towns had easier access to Manchester's main railway terminal.
Councillor Farnell and other Rochdale councillors have also repeatedly called for more to be done to improve security on trams and cut down on antisocial behaviour.
He said: "The new operator will focus on reliability and security. They are committed to boosting security patrols on the trams, particularly during evenings and weekends. This is desperately needed on the Rochdale line."
Councillor Farnell believes the appointment of KeolisAmey will get the service back on track: "It's also good news that they are going to create more than 300 new driver jobs and new apprenticeships. I am going to ensure these new posts are advertised locally to Rochdale people so that our residents get their chance to apply."