Property big hitters rally behind TIF bid

More than 20 of Manchester's main property companies have formed a new alliance to support the Greater Manchester local authorities' bid for the Government's £3bn Transport Innovation Fund.

The United City group will "rally businesses behind the strongly positive message that everyone in Greater Manchester will benefit from the huge transformational investment in the transport system which will deliver significant improvements to Metrolink, bus and train services across the region."

Founder memers include Brian Kennedy's Latium Group, Bruntwood, Ask Developments, GVA Grimley, Property Alliance, Nikal, P3 Property Consultants and Urban Splash (see full list below).

Ken Knott, chief executive of Ask, said: "United City wants to win our bid for a world-class public transport network for a world-class city region. We agree with the public authorities that doing nothing is not an option. As highlighted in an independent report, we have created over 50,000 jobs in the last five years and we are forecast to create 210,000 new jobs in the next 15 years, but 30,000 of these future jobs are at risk from congestion.

"Across the world, our major competitor cities, including New York, Singapore, Stockholm and Milan, are taking this issue seriously. We are looking ahead and being realistic and opportunistic.

"We believe that a huge transformational investment in public transport is the only approach, followed by a charge targeting congestion when and where it occurs.

"If Greater Manchester's recent economic success is to continue, the key to future success is the rapid and efficient movement of people and goods, with major spin-off effects of increased sustainable travel and its resulting positive effects on health and the environment."

The independent alliance has established a series of conditions, which it sees as being vital if the city is to win a world-class transport system. These include:

  • The great majority of the public transport improvements outlined within the TIF proposals must be in place before a congestion charge is introduced
  • The congestion charge must only be active when congestion causes the economy the greatest cost (during the early morning and evening rush hours)
  • The income from congestion charging is ring-fenced to service only repayments for the capital loan from central government, for investment in and support of public transport in Greater Manchester
  • An independent individual or body must be in place to oversee the public transport investment and the implementation of the congestion charge.

A decision is due in the coming weeks from Government on the outcome of the bid.

United City membership as of 5 June 2008:

Argent

Arup

ASK

Bardsley Group

Bruntwood

City South Partnership

CityCo

Dandara

Davis Langdon

DTZ

Eric Wright Group

GVA Grimley

HKR Architects

Heathcotes Restaurants

Hurstwood Group

Inventive Leisure

King Associates

Kro

KPMG

Latium Group

LBM

Muse

Nikal

P3 Property Consultants

Paradigm Group

Paymex

Premex

Piccadilly Partnership

Property Alliance

Realty Estates

Russells Construction

Stirling Group

TCS

Timpson

Urban Splash

Vickers Electronics

West Properties

WHR Property

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