MAYOR of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has today (Monday 14 March) announced a series of major steps to move Greater Manchester towards a London-style public transport system.
Greater Manchester Mayor set out a revised timetable for the introduction of bus franchising, which will see:
- Regulated buses first introduced in Bolton and Wigan as well as parts of Salford and west Manchester from next autumn (2023)
- Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and areas of north Manchester to follow in Spring 2024
- Final tranche covering Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, south Manchester and remaining parts of Salford to run by end of 2024
It comes after a legal challenge brought by bus operators against the city-region’s bus franchising plans was dismissed and signifies a key next step towards the delivery of the Bee Network vision, with the Mayor also set to announce that Greater Manchester is moving to the next important stage of franchising bus services.
Invitations to negotiate will be issued shortly to prospective providers of bus services in Bolton and Wigan, as well as in parts of Salford and west Manchester.
The levels of interest have been extremely strong, bringing a range of organisations from local SMEs through to large bus operators with operational experience throughout the UK, including London, and in some cases internationally.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “The court ruling means we now have the green light to deliver on our plans to deliver a London-style public transport system.
“We will make travelling by public transport more appealing, easier and, significantly, put our people before profits.
“Government has signalled its intention to support our ambitions many times over and we now need them to work in partnership with us, to help us turn our shared vision into a reality.”
Transformed bus services is a key pillar of the Bee Network vision, which aims to provide real public transport and active travel choices for all; promote sustainable travel behavioural change through integrated city-region planning; support the electrification of vehicles and public transport fleets; promotes levelling up through the provision of sustainable transport connectivity to key growth locations and the provision of affordable public transport options for all our communities.
Greater Manchester will have a new Transport Commissioner, with former Transport for London (TfL) Managing Director of Customers, Communication and Technology, Vernon Everitt, set to take a leading role in the delivery of the Bee Network.
The Mayor is also set to announce a new Active Travel Commissioner at today’s New Era event.
Bus fares for all adults will be capped at £2 and £1 for children, it is unlikely that Partington Local Link will change