NEWS | Metrolink has been ‘giant social experiment’ admit Transport for Greater Manchester

February 9, 2012



Can you see the hidden camera in that JD Sports advert? It's watching you getting more and more pissed off.

Transport for General Manchester (TfGM) has revealed that for the past seven years the Metrolink transit system has actually been a massive social experiment.

The scientific study, completed in partnership with The University of Manchester and partially funded by The Government, was designed to study the long-term resilience and reaction of the general public in the face of relentless adverse conditions.

“The Government approached us in 2004 with a pot of cash”, said TfGM’s Director of Operations Marsha Sparvagn. “They wanted to replicate the kind of harsh and unpleasant conditions the public may have to face if Britain ever faced a national decline, possibly due to a natural or social disaster, and see how they coped. We’re always up for a giggle so we gave it a whirl.”

Between 2005 and 2012 TfGM enacted a plan which involved subjecting the public to daily unpleasant and mentally disturbing situations, with a team of scientists at The University of Manchester carefully monitoring the results.

“It was just a case of working out what pissed people off”, said Sparvagn. “We have around 300 trams available at Metrolink HQ, but we tend to always send out between 60 and 90 each day just to make sure they were extremely busy and infrequent. And those incredibly dirty, smelly people who come and sit next to you? Actors. We even have around 800 children employed to play the part of obnoxious school kids who are told to swear at you as you attempt your commute. Needless to say, a light dusting of snow doesn’t stop a tram. But it was one of around 70 fake reasons that we used to needlessly stop trams for an hour or two at a time.”

“We always presumed we’d be caught out well before the study was due to conclude”, admitted Sparvagn. “I find it amazing how the public didn’t cotton on to the fact that this was a clearly a test. Constant swallowing of money by ticket machines, zero adherence to timetables, at least three breakdowns a day? We thought we were being too obvious. And we assumed that most people would guess that the complete lack of any digital display giving you information about forthcoming trams was a sure sign that we were fucking with you. Have you ever seen any mass transit system without that type of technology? And yet people seemed fooled by it all.”

Sparvagn smiles when recalling one technique employed during the experiment.

“Some evenings at the Piccadilly Metrolink station we’d just send out tram after tram after tram all to Altrincham. We would use hidden cameras to watch the passengers waiting for Bury and Eccles trams getting more and more irate, yet their patience was astonishing. Some would wait for up to two hours before wandering off to find alternative transport. Never once did they seem to suspect that this was an experiment.”

“We’re amazed at the results”, said Professor Stephen Manderson, who leads The University of Manchester’s Social Research Department.

“Identical experiments were set up at the same time in Bonn, Germany and Arequipa in the Southern region of Peru. In both cases the public reaction was so strong that the experiments were called off after 12 and 18 months respectively. Bonn even saw some rioting. There is certainly something about the will, determination and never give up attitude of the Mancunian mindset which meant we could carry on the experiment for the full seven years. These people would piss in the face of social breakdown.”

The Government is set to use the Metrolink study findings in a new advisory paper on how our armed forces personnel cope with living for months on end in war-torn regions such as Afghanistan and Iraq.


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141 Comments on “NEWS | Metrolink has been ‘giant social experiment’ admit Transport for Greater Manchester”

  1. John Says:

    So i wonder how many time the delays where purposely put on, and how many people lost their jobs because of these made up problems! 300 trams and only used 90! delay’s delay’s delay’s and now they lift the lid on it. When i made a formal complaint i got absolutely no where and it was all a cover up for this experiment. Very Poor!


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  5. Laura Says:

    We’ll ill have a refund for all the times you’ve made me late for work and I’ve lost money


  6. D Says:

    Who actually makes this shit up? Hahaha


  7. Anonymous Says:

    Would these guys get sued for spreading false shit about TfGM? Just wondering…


  8. Kieran Young Says:

    The people on here who think it’s real are Darwin’s missing link….


  9. Sam Smith Says:

    Many of time I’ve been stood waiting for a tram and 5 Altrincham trams go flying past.. This has often pissed my right off… Overs include on a Manchester United match day … This tram is going to Eccles, a fifth of the journey “this service will now terminate at MediaCityUK”. Get to Pomona “this service will now terminate at Eccles”. Get to Anchorange “this service will now terminate at MediaCityUK”. Another … Ticket inspectors at Pomona then at the very next stop Cornbrook!! Massive FU at the metrolink, Manchester university and the government!! Thanks for wasting my time!! ………………………. CUNTS


    • Anonymous Says:

      Wow… A tirade AND a C bomb! All for a spoof article. Guess you feel a bit of a cunt yourself now, eh?


  10. Anonymous Says:

    yeah really fucking stupid. its us that have to make a living and get charged a bomb just to get taken the piss out of. yeah i kinda worked something out when trams delayed kept breaking down and fucked me over for money with no refunds. really clever manchester uni. and this is why people stop using public transport. when do we get to take the piss out of you lot and record your reactions?


    • Anonymous Says:

      Your first four words describe you to perfection. The rest of your comment backs it up really well, especially the misuse of punctuation and capitalisation, but I’m afraid I’ll have to dock points because you appear to be able to spell.


  11. Anonymous Says:

    what a fucking wast of ta payers money, there baseaclly just spending millions to piss us off and annoy us. what was the need for this experiment the answers where parity fucking obvious


    • Anonymous Says:

      Please tell me you have the brains to figure out this article is basically taking the piss? Jesus I could make millions from people like you!


  12. Andrew Hudson Says:

    “Newsing the shit outta manchester since 1964” lol gullible numptys


  13. a t Says:

    You fucking Nazi’s!! For years you have jeopardized people’s jobs, taken money from the people that have little in the middle of a recession, risked the health of the elderly in adverse weather conditions, and put children in the firing line of antisocial behaviour! And to what end! You creeps! The members of the public that have been subject to your fascist fun should rise up and burn you all! This is disgusting! And you find it amusing you’ve got away with it for so long?! Shame on all of you!! I hope law suits chase you down!


    • angelauk Says:

      OK now I know the same person must be posting all these comments pretending to believe this is real, because Manchester would grind to a half if this many totally stupid people lived in the same city…No where can have this many thick people, nowhere, not even any American city.


  14. Justanotheraverageperson Says:

    Let’s try a social experiment of extreme rioting and see how many giggles the government and transport peeps pop out


    • Anonymous Says:

      I know! Let’s start a social experiment where we post an article on a spoof web site which has just enough urban legend in it and see how many people with a below average IQ live in our city!

      At current count, it looks like we’re a city full of dickheads who will believe anything…


  15. Amy Says:

    I’m suspicious if this is true… Stephen Manderson is the real name of rapper “Professor Green”. Seems a little too coindicental to me, perhaps this story is a social experiment to see how gullible people can be?


    • Anonymous Says:

      Or a spoof. I’d go with my suggestion because, yanno, the bit at the very top of the page says “Voted Manchester’s 3rd best spoof news site”…


  16. ben p Says:

    Well your just a bunch of time wasting pricks, this is absolute bullshit, someone should take you bastards to court, I hope you enjoyed sitting above it all watching us loose our jobs, because we couldn’t get to work on time, time is money dick heads so stop wasting mine!


  17. tiamoinfinity Says:

    The trams are terrible and always have been, there is no way I will ever use them while there is some form of work happening anywhere near the lines. First buses aren’t much better either… Manchester public transport is quite possibly the worst I have ever used.


  18. Nicola Says:

    Guys, this is obviously fake. I’ve been on bbc news and there is nothing about this. Fake fake fake fake


    • Lee Says:

      You didn’t even need to navigate away from the article, there’s loads of evidence. Like the banner at the top of the page. Or the T&Cs at the bottom.


  19. Lee Says:

    I sense a lot of anger about the Metrolink system in a lot of these comments. Perhaps writing a spoof article with just enough urban legend to appear accurate and the prospect of it being a massive experiment is enough to just tip people over the edge of reason.

    Or maybe this article is a social experiment by the Government to find out if people in Manchester are stupid or not. On the basis of the comments here, I’d say we’re running at about 47%. Damn, we’re a stupid city…


  20. A Says:

    The thing is, the bus is often faster than these fucking shit yellow things anyway and I’ll tell you what else makes my shit it, those fucking ticket machines, why can’t you buy on the tram like in sheffield and nottingham, I’m sure the drivers delight in pulling off just as your ticket comes out of the machine. Then there’s those bastard bully boy ticket inspectors who think they are nightclub bouncers. Love it if someone beat the shit out of some of them


  21. Peter Fry Says:

    “Have you ever seen any mass transit system without that type of technology?”

    You haven’t been to Ireland yet!!!

    …..maybe thats whats been going on here for the past 100 years, a social experiment


  22. Anonymous Says:

    Absolute disgrace, I have taken to the bus, quicker and reliable !


  23. Rob Says:

    It comes as no surprise to me. As a motorist, it rapidly became clear that the constantly closed lanes on the Oldham bypass could not have been related to Metrolink construction work – the lanes close, but no actual work is ever done.


  24. Sarah Andrews Says:

    Really? Are the terrible buses included in this study too? 🙂


  25. Harry Says:

    This is a spoof site – this is a spoof story.

    A JOKE you bloody idiots.


  26. Dave Beastly (@davebeastly) Says:

    Does that mean the broken ticket machine I encountered at Cornbrook was a deliberate experiment and I can have my £200 fine back that the inspectors gave me for trying to buy my ticket at the GMex?


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  40. Anonymous Says:

    So the abuse of the woman wearing a burka with her infant child and husband…….was that an act?? I don’t think so….this has got to be one massive joke.
    Or the countless old, disabled or less able bodied that have been subject to abuse when asking for seats or assistance…….if it’s all been an act some one wants sacking.
    Talk about human rights act….clearly doesn’t work for the people it should….just the murderers, rapists and criminal scum.
    Glad I never use it and now have no reason to again


  41. elaine Q Says:

    I knew the little scrote waiting at the Etihad stop last night watching his spittle drip drip drip on the ground was a plant!!! the It’s a free country comment was pure genius even !!goddammit you clever metrolink folk-you nearly had me.



  1. Magnificent Metrolink. | Hey. I'm Tom. - November 20, 2013

    […] People are beginning to see Metrolink as something of a joke, and to me, it is utterly hilarious since I don’t often get caught up in the disruption. It doesn’t cause myself personally too much of an issue which is why I love the twitter jokes and abuse so much. But anyway, one person or a group of people made a parody article, stating that metrolink was just a giant social experiment over a number of years to see how long the city would put with these horrendous transport conditions before something was done about it. It truly is hilarious..have a read here.  […]

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