Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will today announce an overhaul of transport to begin in 2018, with contactless payment and a review of bus franchising the key aims.
Burnham is to address the Urban Transport Group in Leeds, the group made up of the country’s key metropolitan transport bodies, including Merseytravel and Transport for Greater Manchester.
He is expected to say: “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.”
In his speech, the Mayor is expected to outline plans to:
- Establish a Mayor’s Strategic Transport Board, which he will chair with Sir Richard Leese. The board will be asked to provide regular updates on performance, monitor progress on improvements, and ensure decisions are made in a joined-up way.
- Make Greater Manchester the first city region to use new powers to improve bus services
- Introduce contactless bank card payment on Metrolink in late 2018
- Ensure train operators do more to compensate commuters for poor service
TfGM is currently preparing an assessment of a bus franchising scheme on behalf of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, exploring options made available to mayoral combined authorities in the Bus Services Act 2017.
Earlier this year the Mayor announced the introduction of half-price bus tickets, and from 1 January 2018, the introduction of half-price travel on Metrolink for 16 to 18-year-olds.
TfGM has also carried out a six-week Congestion Conversation with motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport users. Almost 9,000 people responded with 91 per cent reporting that congestion has caused them increased stress and anxiety.
Transport for West Midlands, North East Combined Authority, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Transport for London and West Yorkshire Combined Authority make up the UTG along with the North West organisations.
The group’s associate members are Bristol and the West of England Partnership, Nottingham City Council, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Tees Valley Combined Authority.