Multi-million pound funding proposals aimed at improving and developing rail stations and the bus network, delivering more electric vehicle charging points and working up plans for potential new Metrolink stops – helping to deliver the Mayor’s Our Network transport vision – are set to be considered by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
Alongside a suite of newly published plans for transport across the city region, the £69.5m Transforming Cities Fund 2 proposals, will help to better connect communities, open up opportunities, revitalise town centres and local economies whilst making neighbourhoods cleaner, greener and healthier. The funding will also help support the city-region’s social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plans outline investment in key infrastructure including:
- £20m to develop quality bus transit schemes, including northern and eastern orbital routes, and to improve pinch points across the network, including improved walking and cycling infrastructure.
- £15m for a new rail station at Golborne as the best performing option in the New Station
- £7m contribution to the Network Rail Greek Street bridge project in Stockport.
- £2.5m funding business cases for new rail stations and Metrolink stops
- £2m investment in a new Travel Hub, including Park and Ride,at Tyldesley.
- £10m in match funding for EV charging posts across all ten local authorities.
- £3.3m for Access for All Funding for next priority stations, including Swinton.
- Up to £10m for further scheme development.
This allocation follows the initial Transforming Cities Fund of £243m made available in March 2018 which was used to fund projects including £160m for walking and cycling infrastructure as part of the Bee Network, and £83m for 27 new Metrolink trams to boost network capacity.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Throughout the pandemic public transport has been critical in ensuring we could all continue to access essential shops and services and for our key workers to get to their jobs. As we look forward to our recovery, I am determined to speed up the delivery on a world-class, integrated public transport system in Greater Manchester.
“This package of improvements is designed to do just that and lay further foundations for Our Network vision for public transport. It will bring new services to communities with some of the poorest links, as well as improving access for people where it is most needed, including developing quality bus routes between our town centres, establishing the business case for more Metrolink stops and expanding our electric vehicle charging network.
“So this should not just be seen as building better infrastructure; this is about providing our residents with wider opportunities, access to jobs, skill and education, reducing social isolation and building stronger and better-connected communities where people want to live and are able to thrive.”
David Molyneux, Leader of Wigan Council said: “The confirmation of funding for a new station at Golborne is superb news. It will connect the town and the wider area with Wigan, Manchester, Cumbria and the Airport, providing more opportunities for our residents, reducing traffic on local roads and regenerating Golborne’s economy.
“This is the result of a lot of hard work, including from the local community and I want to thank everyone who pushed hard for this to become a reality. This isn’t the end of the process, we still need to make the business case to Government and our partners but this will mean we have the money to deliver if we get the go-ahead.”
Cllr Roger Jones, Lead Member for Bus on the Greater Manchester Transport Committee, said: “Buses are the unsung stalwarts of our transport network. The Transport Cities Fund investment will deliver quality bus routes across our city-region, which will make journeys faster, easier and more convenient.
“Importantly, they will provide orbital connections between our town centres, expanding our residents’ opportunities and access to jobs and other services. Improved bus routes will mean less cars on our roads and we will seek to incorporate high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure as part of the Bee Network to encourage the move to active travel.”
Greater Manchester’s suite of transport strategy documents – which underpin and support Our Network – will also be going to GMCA on 29 January . These documents include the detailed Five-Year Transport Delivery Plan and a series of Local Implementation Plans, one for each local authority, which set out priorities and interventions, for specific communities, neighbourhoods and town centres.
Alongside this, Greater Manchester’s long-term policy framework, the Greater Manchester 2040 Transport Strategy, is also being republished following a refresh.
The overall aim of Greater Manchester’s transport strategy is to deliver its ambitious ‘Right Mix’ vision for 50% of all journeys in the city-region to be by public transport, cycling and walking by 2040. That would mean 1million more sustainable journeys being made every day helping to create a city region where people have a better quality of life with improved health, a greener environment and a stronger economy.
For more information on the 2040 Transport Strategy, Five Year Transport Delivery Plan and 10 Local Implementation Plans, visit: www.tfgm.com/strategy
Photo credit: Transport for Greater Manchester