Greater Manchester seeks levelling-up with TfL-style transport service

Greater Manchester’s Leaders have asked government to back early delivery of a London-style public transport system for the city-region.

As part of the vision, which requires an initial £1.4 billion of funding from national government, Greater Manchester will deliver significant investment in transport facilities – integral to the infrastructure required to create the Bee Network - creating vital new connections between towns, high streets and communities, fast orbital bus routes, new and improved stations and high-quality cycling and walking routes.

Andy Burnham"Transport is central to our ambitions for a levelled-up Greater Manchester. Improving access to economic opportunity, unlocking new sites for residential and commercial development, promoting improved health and wellbeing through active travel, and making a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of the city region’s economy," said Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham. "A single, London-style, integrated transport network that is accessible, affordable and reliable will unlock Greater Manchester’s economy. It will significantly improve air quality and it will help us to level up our communities." 

The announcement is an important step in Destination: Bee Network– the city region’s masterplan to deliver a London-style, integrated transport system across bus, tram, cycling, walking and rail. 

The Bee Network would provide seamless connections across walking, cycling, buses and Metrolink supported by clear customer travel information and simple fares and ticketing.

Delivery of the Bee Network will offer options for all journey lengths, from doorstep to destination, for all Greater Manchester residents. It will be integrated, accessible, affordable, accountable and sustainable. But most importantly, it will give everyone an attractive alternative to driving.

The requested investment would deliver:

  • A single, integrated and more affordable ticketing system for bus, Metrolink and cycle hire by 2024, and to include rail by 2030
  • Improve access to and deliver new railway stations, including a new station at Golborne and step free access at stations in Salford, Wigan, Tameside and Manchester
  • Build 30 miles of quality bus corridors across GM, improving reliability (especially on current poor orbital connections between our towns)
  • Deliver significant improvements in the bus fleet, replacing 30-50% of the fleet with zero emissions vehicles by 2025 and ensuring a high-quality and consistent offer (with common branding, standards of service and information)
  • Create high-quality walking and cycling routes (that are fit for a 12-year-old, a double buggy or a wheelchair user), including through innovative new road layouts like our CYCLOPS junctions

"Happily, our public transport ambitions mirror those of national government and the levelling up agenda so we’re confident that the vision we’re putting forward for government funding will be successful," added Transport Commissioner, Chris Boardman. "These are very exciting times for Greater Manchester and we stand ready to put this vision into action."

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