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2008-06-09 DfT-001
Department for Transport

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Kelly signals £2.8 billion boost for transport across Greater Manchester


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Department for Transport

Kelly signals £2.8 billion boost for transport across Greater Manchester
_______________________________________________________________


date
9 Jun 2008 15:50
source Department for Transport
type Press release

note DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (088) issued by The Government News Network on 9 June 2008


Greater Manchester is set to benefit from a £2.8 billion funding package to deliver major public transport improvements and tackle road congestion Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly announced today.

Greater Manchester has been given the green light to proceed with its bid to the Government's Transport Innovation Fund (TIF). Their proposals combine unprecedented investment in public transport with a local congestion charging scheme.

The package includes plans for up to 22 miles of extension to the Metrolink tram, transformed bus services across Manchester, including new, direct buses running from the north to the south of the city and 120 extra yellow school buses. There will also be major improvements to rail, including more carriages and seats, the upgrade of 41 train stations, and the doubling of park and ride provision on the rail and Metrolink networks.

To ensure that people have real choices over how and when they travel, the majority of these improvements are planned to be delivered before the introduction of the local congestion charge in 2013. The charging scheme will operate only at peak times, when congestion is at its worst.

Ruth Kelly said:

"This is about creating a world class transport system for a world class city.

"Thriving cities are those where people have access to education and jobs, and where businesses can flourish.

"Manchester's economic renaissance is a major British success story. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the UK, but congestion has become an increasing brake on its future prosperity, with the potential to cost the city as many as one in seven of future jobs.

"Today I applaud the ambition and vision of Greater Manchester's councils. Their proposals will sustain the region's growth, bring benefits to all those who live in the area and enable Greater Manchester to compete with the best cities across the world."

Greater Manchester's analysis shows the combined package of investment in public transport and congestion charging would deliver far greater benefits to the City region's economic growth and quality of life than either investment or a charging scheme alone.

Today's decision to award Programme Entry to Greater Manchester's proposals means that the Government is prepared, in principle, to invest £1.5bn in support of the package of measures. The remaining investment will be funded by Greater Manchester. The Manchester authorities will now work towards 'Conditional' and ultimately 'Full' approval for their plans.

They will conduct a full public consultation on their proposals to ensure that as many people as possible have the chance to have their say. Subject to the outcome of the public consultation, we expect an application for Conditional approval in the autumn.

The Government remains in discussion with other urban centres where local leaders believe combining extra investment in public transport with demand management schemes is the right solution, and has made funding available to back other high quality proposals.

Notes to Editors

1. The £2.8bn package consists of £1.5bn from the Department for Transport, £1.2bn from local contributions, £0.1bn local third party contribution. This is over and above existing funding for Greater Manchester.

2. Greater Manchester's proposed congestion charge is designed around a 'twin cordon' system which will operate at peak times only. Vehicles will be charged according to their crossing of cordons. The scheme will use tag and beacon technology supported by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). The scheme is proposed to go live in mid-2013. More details are available at: http://www.gmfuturetransport.co.uk

3. Greater Manchester's TIF plans have now been given Programme entry, which means that the Government supports the package in principle and commits to working closely with Manchester as it develops its proposals in the coming months.

4. The TIF package proposal is for:

* up to 22 miles of new lines to the Metrolink network - attracting 27 million additional passengers and completing a total network of 103km and 70 million passengers per year

* Significant expansion of capacity on local trains delivering additional carriages for local services in Greater Manchester

* Improvements to 41 rail stations including CCTV coverage, seats, shelters and better signing and information

* A robust and reliable bus network

* 120 new yellow school buses

* Eight new state-of-the-art interchanges

* Doubling of park and ride provision on rail/Metrolink networks

* Information displays at all major bus and train stations giving passengers up to date information on when their bus or train will arrive.

* Improved roadside information for drivers, warning them of accidents and delays

* Integrated ticketing arrangements, including smartcards

* Greater support to help people make better travel choices, including more cycle lanes and secure parking for bikes.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk



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