FARES on Greater Manchester’s tram system are to be made simpler using a new zonal system.

Where previously tickets for the Metrolink were based on specific destinations, now prices will be set based on four zones, similar to the London Underground.

The Metrolink is the largest light railway network in the UK, with more than 42 million journeys made every year, but Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the pricing system is “complex” and “undoubtedly a barrier that prevents some people from making the most of our public transport”.

He has promised that the zonal system will be simpler to use, more convenient and will offers passengers more for their money.

The four-zone system will cut the thousands of current fare combinations to just 10 options and customers will be able to get on board from 13 January when the system is changed.

Under the system, Bury and Radcliffe will come under zone four, while Whitefield, Besses o’ th’ Barn, Prestwich and Heaton Park fall under zone three.

Whitefield had initially been included within the higher priced zone four, but after Cllr Noel Bayley wrote to Metrolink arguing that the proposals would disadvantage people in the north of Whitefield, Metrolink re-designated the station.

Cllr Bayley said: “This is great news, particularly for those Metrolink commuters travelling from northern Whitefield.

“This will also have the added advantage of dissuading commuters from driving further south to take advantage of lower zone fares and will help to alleviate parking issues in both Whitefield, and Prestwich too.”

For more information on the new zones as well as fares, visit www.tfgm.com/public-transport/tram/zonal-fares.