Major transport overhaul in Greater Manchester announced

A major overhaul of transport, beginning in 2018, has been announced by the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

When addressing the Urban Transport Group in Leeds, the Mayor outlined his ambition to deliver a safe, reliable, affordable and fully integrated high capacity transport network with customers at heart.

In his speech, Andy Burnham outlined plans to: establish a Mayor’s Strategic Transport Board; make Greater Manchester the first city region to use new powers to improve bus services; introduce contactless bank card payment on Metrolink in late 2018; and ensure train operators do more to compensate commuters for poor service.

In Greater Manchester, work is already under way to explore the new options available to mayoral combined authorities in the Bus Services Act 2017. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is currently preparing an assessment of a bus franchising scheme on behalf of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Earlier this year the Mayor announced the introduction of half-price bus tickets, and from January 2018, the introduction of half-price travel on Metrolink for 16 to 18-year-olds.

The speech came after the Mayor commissioned TfGM to carry out a six-week Congestion Conversation with motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport users. More than 6,500 people responded with 91 per cent reporting that congestion has caused them increased stress and anxiety.

Andy Burham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “In Greater Manchester, as in many UK cities outside London, it is simply not good enough. Our trains are packed-out, clapped-out and over-priced. Our buses are over-priced and a confusing free-for-all. Our motorways endlessly trapped in over-running roadworks.

“But our problem is not just that are our separate transport modes not good enough individually; it is also that these modes cannot be integrated to work as one system.

“The lack of investment from central government over many years is of course a major part of the problem. But it is not just about money.

“This is also a story of failed ideology, policy incoherence and lack of public accountability. And the failure of government to give power to local leaders to develop coherent transport plans means they have been unable to correct these flaws.”

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