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We want the Government to give us the power and funding we need to Take Control of our Transport in Greater Manchester.
Transport is the life-blood of Greater Manchester. It connects us to work, our homes and to the best of what this city region has to offer. A world-class city region deserves world-class transport infrastructure, to allow it to grow and to meet the demands of future generations.
Our objective is simple: for the people of Greater Manchester to get from a to b as quickly, as safely, as conveniently, and as cheaply as possible.
We are doing what we can with the powers at our disposal.
Our 2040 Strategy sets out our vision for a transport system that creates world class connections which support the long term sustainable economic growth and access to opportunity for all.
But to do this Greater Manchester needs further powers and funding to develop and deliver a transformation in our transport networks, so that every journey you make is as efficient as possible.
What are we demanding?
1£3bn funding for a massive investment programme in our transport Infrastructure in Greater Manchester between now and 2025 made up of central government funding and local contributions
2Power for Greater Manchester to coordinate roadworks
3Powers to make our road network run more smoothly including enforcement of traffic offences and yellow box junctions
4The ability to regulate private hire drivers, vehicles and operators, repealing the provision that allows drivers with a license granted outside Greater Manchester to work in any local area
5Greater power to Transport for the North to oversee and manage train operators on behalf of passengers
6New world class railway stations for Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport to realise the major benefits of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, and major upgrades to Wigan and Stockport stations to enable HS2 to arrive
7Ownership of our railway stations to improve accessibility and to make sure they are a key part of our local communities and regeneration plans
8Local Scrappage Scheme to provide financial support for the switch to cleaner vehicles to tackle poor air quality and financial support for Bus Operators to upgrade their fleets
9Highways England to be legally required to assess and tackle the air quality issues on the strategic highways network and related sections of the local highways network
How we can take control our our transport.
One consequence of our ageing infrastructure is the number of roadworks that, to many people, seem to pop up overnight, without any warning.
Fixing essential water pipes, gas mains and electricity cables are all vital, but if they are badly planned they can cause awful traffic problems at the most important times of the day – on the way to work or school.
We want the Government to give our local highway authorities swift access to powers so we have a clear regime for those utility companies or others working on our roads that control the quality and timeliness of their work; reflect the cost of delays imposed on others; and apply penalties for lateness or shoddy work.
Highway authorities need powers to enforce against inconsiderate driving behaviours that are dangerous, clog the systems and slow everyone down, like blocking yellow box junctions. London has these powers, and we need them too as even small improvements in traffic flows can have a big effect overall.
Our motorways are vital to the North West economy. However, poorly planned roadworks or an unfortunate traffic accident, can lead to knock-on congestion problems closer in to our towns and city centre. A journey that once would have taken less than an hour can now take well over two.
The partnership between Highways England, Greater Manchester’s highways authorities and TfGM is starting to work well, but we need government to make sure Highways England can go further.
We want Highways England to be accountable for operational performance to the GMCA, explaining how it will adopt a much broader view of its remit than just managing traffic flows on the strategic road network, thinking about to knock-on effects of its actions and sharing its resources with local highway authorities to address our common challenges.
We also need to see Greater Manchester’s voice clearly heard in Highways England and how they decide future spending priorities.
Despite a decline in bus journeys since the 1980s, buses still carry three quarters of all public transport passengers in Greater Manchester, and it is therefore vitally important this steps are taken to ensure it plays a key role in the public transport network of Greater Manchester.
Patronage on the bus network in Greater Manchester has been in decline with a c10% reduction since 2010. There have been service cuts, frequency reductions, fare rises and the average age of buses has increased.
Because it’s a deregulated market, no single organisation is responsible for planning the bus network or setting fares, with over 30 operators active in Greater Manchester. This means that passengers don’t get the benefit of a fully integrated transport system, and key aspects of the service are not performing as they might.
Single fares can be very high – many over £3 – compared to £1.50 in London, and it is not easy to find out what fare you should be paying.
The declining network isn’t as efficient as possible, as operators compete on some routes but leave others less well served, meaning some areas miss out on a high quality bus service. Poor or non-existent evening services can dissuade people from choosing bus when making travel plans, compounding loss of patronage and weakening the network overall.
Buses have a major role in our public transport system and we want affordable and simplified fares and for all communities to be able to expect a decent service. One that gives them confidence to take the bus and makes it attractive compared to other modes such as the car, and for buses to be cleaner and greener.
The Bus Services Act now gives Greater Manchester an opportunity to improve our bus services. Important, detailed, technical work is currently taking place to assess the options for what could be the biggest change to the local bus network in more than 30 years.
Greater Manchester is leading the way in this area and that means we are the first to test out the new legislation. Our first priority is to prepare a robust assessment that accurately informs the options available to Greater Manchester to reform the local bus market. The pace at which we can progress has largely been dictated by this new legislative process, and TFGM is actively pressing on with this important work.
We have exciting plans to make Greater Manchester one of the world’s most attractive places to cycle and walk.
Almost a third of journeys less than 1km are made by car. That’s the equivalent to a 15-minute walk – or a four minute bike ride.
Supporting people to walk or cycle, particularly for those short journeys, is key to tackling congestion, improving air quality and people’s health. Physical inactivity alone is costing the NHS £500,000 a week in Greater Manchester.
Other cities have shown that if you build high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure then people will use it.
Our plan is to invest £1.5bn over the next ten years, with £160m already committed, to make Greater Manchester the by-word for walking and cycling. We will deliver 75 miles of segregated cycle lanes similar to those found in Holland and Denmark and with 1400 new pedestrian crossings to create a 1,000 mile network of walking and cycling routes connecting communities across GM.
Our mission is to connect every community, providing cycling infrastructure that is easy and safe enough for a competent 12-year-old to use, and offering an alternative to driving for thousands of people across the city region.
When we bring forward plans to revitalise our town centres as places for people, and not for cars, we want the Department for Transport to share in our bold ambition and not stand in their way by applying outdated national guidance to transformative local schemes.
Our most pressing public health challenge is cleaning up Greater Manchester’s air.
Air pollution contributes to the early deaths of around 1,200 people in the GM area each year. Breathing illnesses, heart disease and even some cancers are all made worse by this invisible killer.
Cities around the UK are now taking steps, and producing proposals, to tackle this public health crisis.
Greater Manchester needs Government to bring forward plans to provide us with the funding needed to provide a targeted vehicle scrappage scheme to replace older polluting vehicles and support drivers and businesses, including taxi drivers, to change to low emission vehicles, ensuring that those on low-incomes and also small businesses are helped to make the shift.
Government must give Highways England a legal direction to assess the air quality problem on our motorways and to produce a plan for how they will tackle it.
In March 2018, £220m funding was announced to help a handful of cities and towns to improve air quality. The number of cities accessing this fund has more than doubled. In Greater Manchester we know we’ll need a lot more funding to tackle the air quality problem we are facing and that’s why we’ve recently joined with other cities to call on Government for our share of a much bigger £1.5bn Clean Air Fund to give the financial support to make the shift towards more environmentally friendly vehicles.
Train delays mean the difference between getting to work on time or getting home to our families.
Hundreds of thousands of rail passengers continue to suffer a terrible service from the private train companies, with constant delays and cancellations. Passengers are also paying a high price for travelling on old, overcrowded trains.
There are three things we need to get right. Much closer local control over railway franchises; the start of the rail improvements that the Government has already promised;and clear commitments to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The timetable debacle earlier this summer proves that running railways centrally is making passengers lives a misery.
It cannot be right that the train operators manage a service on which cancellations are a daily occurrence, late running is the accepted part of the daily commute and potentially dangerous overcrowding in rush-hour is the norm, to such an extent that we know passengers have been taken ill.
Rail services must work for passengers.
We want the North to have much greater control over the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises. It will mean these operators will have much greater forensic scrutiny on their performance; they are held to account when things go wrong; compensation for delays is easy to get hold of; and improved services are based on local need.
Electrification programmes, the full delivery of the Northern Hub, and new Northern and TransPennine franchise specifications should have provided much needed additional capacity on our rail network. However, elements of the Northern Hub programme, including Piccadilly platforms 15/16 and Oxford Road, are still to be delivered and electrification programmes have been delayed or paused. The Government must complete these essential rail infrastructure projects quickly, so passengers get the rail service they pay for, and we can reduce the strain on our roads.
We also continue to push for full local control of Greater Manchester railway stations. The majority of these 97 rail stations are old – over 80 per cent are more than 100 years old – and over half are inaccessible to people with disabilities or families with small children.
Having a greater say over our stations will remove the barriers to travelling by train, begin the planning for rebuilding them as part of local regeneration schemes, putting them in the heart of an integrated network, with transport hubs where buses, trains and, in some places, trams all connect and make journeys easier and more comfortable.
But Greater Manchester has ambitious plans to go much further than this. To support the growth of our City Region over the next decade, we need to keep expanding our rapid transit network at pace, building on the success of our recent Metrolink expansion programme. That is why we’re already investing £72m in 27 new trams, which will increase Metrolink capacity by 15%.
More and more, however, we are starting to stretch the capacity of our existing rapid transit network. On the busiest Metrolink lines, overcrowding is a daily occurrence.
In the future, we will therefore need to make much better use of our existing rail lines, for example using tram-train technology – which would enable adapted Metrolink vehicles to run on the same lines as trains. We are working with Network Rail to test this technology in Greater Manchester as quickly as possible. We call on Government to support us as we pave the way for much more frequent services for commuters, as well as a much more locally accountable public transport system.
We all want an effective taxi and private hire market, and to drive up standards, improving the safety and the quality of service offered to all users.
While change and innovation can bring benefits for customers, a fast-growing industry also brings with it concerns around passenger safety, congestion, parking issues and air quality.
This surge in private hire vehicles combined with legislation that has not kept up with the pace of change, means we have no control at all over many private hire drivers and vehicles that are working in our own city region, taking fares from our residents, but licensed outside Greater Manchester. Current laws mean that some drivers spend 100 per cent of their time working in another authority. As many have pointed out, this make no sense and potentially risks our high standards being undermined.
The Government must give Greater Manchester’s licensing authorities the powers they need so that only locally licensed taxi and private hire drivers, vehicles and operators can operate in Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester is the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. We need the Government to deliver East to West Northern Powerhouse Rail alongside High Speed 2 (HS2), with a revamped Manchester Piccadilly station at its center.
It’s now time for the Government to show their commitment to the North of England and give us the infrastructure we need to create jobs, boost productivity and tackle the North South divide.
HS2 could bring huge benefits to Greater Manchester and the whole of the North. Not only would it bring much needed improvements to transport connectivity, it could also make the areas around Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport major centres for economic growth.
But we will only realise the full potential of HS2 if we redevelop Piccadilly in the right way, by maximising both the space for development and the frequency of services across the North. Build it once and build it right and we stand on the cusp of creating 40,000 new, long-term jobs, 13,000 new homes and close to a million square metres of commercial development because of a transformed Piccadilly.
Greater Manchester is a leading world city region and we want to make it the best place in the world in which to do business.
We need to embrace our future population growth, not shy away from it. In particular we need to invest in the transport, housing and wider infrastructure critical to making the region a great place to live, work and visit.
Because what is good for GM’s success is of benefit to the north and the UK at large.
We have a pipeline of projects that will, by 2040, establish a fully integrated, high capacity transport network for Greater Manchester.
Improving our transport infrastructure is vital, and to do this we need long term funding certainty so we can plan the transport we need to meet current and future challenges.
Stop/start funding gives uncertainty to business, developers and the supply chain, who will often look elsewhere globally for work, if a city region presents them with ambiguity over funding for projects.
We need the Government to commit to the creation of a long-term capital and revenue funding settlement to support investment over the next ten years into major transport infrastructure across the city region that will deliver economic growth, homes and jobs.
Doing so would recognise the vital importance of sustained investment into GM, demonstrating the region as being a key driver of growth across the country.
For Greater Manchester this means accessing £3bn between now and 2025 for massive investment in our transport infrastructure. We’ll play our part with local contributions but need government to commit now to the scale of funding we’ll need, and long term settlements to help us to plan.