I visited Manchester last week to address the Transport Planning Society (my presentation Metz TPS Manchester 23-3-16 ). I took the opportunity to talk to people at Transport for Greater Manchester and to ride the Metrolink tram to MediaCity, the waterfront development of BBC and ITV studios. It seemed clear that this important development would not have happened in the absence of the tram since other modes of travel would not have provided the assurance of speed and reliability necessary to make such a site readily accessible. The general rule is that to develop urban brownfield land, it is crucial to have rail-based access from the city centre and main station.