The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will today outline his plans to overhaul the transport network in the region.
In an address to the Urban Transport Group in Leeds, Mr Burnham is expected to unveil his plans to ensure that transport in Greater Manchester is safe, reliable, affordable and a fully integrated high capacity transport network.
He has been highly critical of the government’s commitment to improving the transport network in the North of England. Despite the Chancellor recently announcing £400 million funding for the Northern Powerhouse, the Mayor of Greater Manchester has criticised what he perceives as lack of priority in the region’s transport.
In particular, he was displeased with the cancellation of electrification works on the lines at a time when the government announced that options were being explored to find funding for Crossrail 2 – something Mr Burnham doesn’t believe should be a priority.
In his speech today, the Mayor of Greater Manchester will outline plans to establish a Mayor’s Strategic Transport Board that will provide regular performance updates, as well as monitoring improvements.
Mr Burnham also wants to introduce contactless bank card payments on the Metrolink before the end of next year; ensure commuters are compensated by train operators for poor service; and make Greater Manchester the first region that uses new powers to improve bus services.
When addressing the Urban Transport Group, the Mayor will say: “The North has been treated as second class over many years when it comes to transport investment, but that only tells part of the story. Our road, rail and bus services are not only poor individually, they can’t be properly integrated due to an inconsistent national policy framework in which they operate.
“We cannot have a transport system where different modes of transport operate completely independently from each other or, worse, actively competing and undermining each other as we have seen with bus operators and Metrolink.
“It lacks coherence, it’s confusing for passengers, and it doesn’t deliver for a growing 21st century city region. It is time to bring some order to this chaos.”