Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will today announce a series of steps to move Greater Manchester towards a London-style public transport system.
The Mayor is expected to 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 autumn 2023.
The rollout of regulated buses in Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and areas of north Manchester will follow in spring 2024.
The final tranche covering Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, south Manchester and the remaining parts of Salford is expected to run by the end of 2024.
The announcement comes after a legal challenge brought by bus operators against the city-region’s bus franchising plans was dismissed.
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.’
The transformation of bus services is a key pillar of Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) Bee Network vision, which aims to provide public transport and active travel choices for everyone in the area, while promoting sustainable travel behavioural change and supporting the electrification of vehicles and public transport fleets.
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 an event today.
Vernon Everitt, the Mayor’s new Transport Commissioner, commented: ‘It is a privilege to be given the responsibility to help write the next chapter of Greater Manchester’s ambitious and truly transformational transport story. The Bee Network vision sets out a compelling plan for better transport and I will bring all my experience to the table to ensure we deliver it.
‘Our integrated transport network will unlock access to opportunity and public services, and drive reduced carbon emissions and improved wellbeing, benefitting everyone who lives, works or visits here. I look forward to working with the mayor, councils, transport operators and people across Greater Manchester to deliver a world class public transport system.’
Photo by Mangopear creative