In May 2009, a special fund of £1.5 billion was agreed for 15 transport schemes in Greater Manchester. These included a further 2.1-mile (3.4 km) extension to the East Manchester line from Droylsden to Ashton-under-Lyne. Plans for the extension from Droylsden to Ashton-under-Lyne were fully approved by the Department for Transport in March 2010 whereupon MPact-Thales was appointed as the main contractor.
Trams are scheduled along the East Manchester line westbound towards Manchester Piccadilly station before continuing through the city centre towards Bury, whilst eastbound trams terminate at the station. Trams run every 12 minutes Monday-Saturday daytime, and are planned to increase to every 6 minutes at peak times in the future. On Sundays and Bank Holidays, there is a 15-minute service.