Provisional funding approval of £42m was announced today by transport minister Sadiq Khan for improvements to three key bus routes in Manchester.
The investment will create three direct bus routes along the A664, A580, and Oxford Road and within the city centre.
A contribution of up to £37.8m was provisionally agreed by the Department for Transport with the remaining funding to be provided by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive. GMPTE will now move forward with detailed planning for the scheme.
The announcement grants the Manchester Cross City Bus Package 'programme entry' status in line with the Department for Transport's local major scheme guidance approval process, meaning the DfT expects to fund the scheme subject to availability of funds, costs remaining the same and the relevant planning permission being obtained. The next stages of the approval process are normally 'conditional approval, once the necessary legal powers are in place and 'full approval', once final supplier prices have been secured.
If full approval is granted up to £37.8m will be provided by the DfT with the remaining funding being provided by GMPTE.
GMPTE estimates the total scheme cost to be £54.6m, which includes an allowance for risk and contingency that the PTE will be liable for.
Khan said: "An efficient and reliable transport system is vital for every local community. Thanks to this funding bus travellers in Manchester will benefit from better access to services and faster and more reliable journeys around the city centre. The scheme will also provide a credible and attractive alternative to using the car."