£2.8m transport boost for public transport and tackling congestion
Greater Manchester has been given the go-ahead to combine unprecedented investment in public transport with a local congestion charging scheme.
The government approved package includes plans for up to 22 miles of extension to the Metrolink tram; transformed bus services across Manchester, including new, direct buses running from the north to the south of the city; and 120 extra yellow school buses.
There will also be major improvements to rail; the upgrade of 41 train stations; and the doubling of park and ride provision on the rail and Metrolink networks.
The majority of these improvements are planned to be delivered before the introduction of the local congestion charge in 2013. The charging scheme will operate only at peak times, when congestion is at its worst.
“Manchester’s economic renaissance is a major British success story. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the UK, but congestion has become an increasing brake on its future prosperity, with the potential to cost the city as many as one in seven of future jobs,” commented Ruth Kelly, Transport Secretary.
“Greater Manchester’s proposals will sustain the region’s growth, bring benefits to all those who live in the area and enable Greater Manchester to compete with the best cities across the world.”
The government is proposing to invest £1.5bn in support of the package of measures. The remaining investment will be funded by Greater Manchester.
There will be a full public consultation on the proposals.