A NEW zone and fare system, similar to the London Underground, is set to be introduced on the Metrolink this weekend.

Announced last year the scheme will see the network divided in to four zones spreading out from the Manchester “City Zone” to the wider Greater Manchester area.

Under the system Bury and Radcliffe Metrolink stops lay inside zone four, and Whitefield, Besses o’ th’ Barn, Prestwich and Heaton Park in Zone three.

In line with the model fares will also be radically overhauled, cutting the number of fare options down from 8,500 to just 10.

Customers will be able to use one ticket for unlimited travel within their chosen zones, instead of for one-off journeys between specific stops.

To ensure the system’s smooth introduction, Transport for Greater Manchester has said hundreds of extra staff will be stationed at all 93 Metrolink stations on Sunday, as well as at key stops on following days.

Transport bosses are also hoping that the new system marks the first step in creating an integrated ticketing system from the region’s transport network as pledged by the GM Mayor Andy Burnham and outlined in TfGM’s 2040 Transport Strategy.

Speaking when the scheme was announced Mr Burnham praised the system as “simpler to use, more convenient and offers passengers more for their money”.

Last year a new Metrolink network map was introduced, inspired by the Underground, featuring numbered flags and reintroduced coloured lines to make it easier to distinguish tram lines.