Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content
Sign In
Navigate Up


 3. A vision for a connected Greater Manchester


Through the Greater Manchester Strategy we already have a vision for 2020 for “A new model for sustainable economic growth based around a more connected, talented and greener city region where all our residents are able to contribute to and benefit from increased prosperity”. We want to sustain this vision for the next 25 years. A resilient, effective and integrated transport network is critical to the success of all great cities.

By 2040, Greater Manchester will look and feel very different. It will be more prosperous as a result of its leading role at the heart of a Northern Powerhouse which will help to re-balance the UK economy. This requires a transformational change to our economy, with a significant growth in high-skilled, knowledge- based industries, particularly in our regional centre; and further development of our role as the major international gateway to the north of England for passenger and freight movements via Manchester Airport and the Manchester Ship Canal.

Any transport system needs to fulfil basic customer requirements; it needs to be integrated, safe, secure, healthy, low emission, accessible and resilient and provide best value. We will continue to make improvements in all these areas to improve the customer experience, but in addition we need to ensure that transport is helping to achieve the Greater Manchester Strategy vision described above.

The four key elements of that vision, namely sustainable economic growth, quality of life, environment and developing an innovative city-region, will provide a focus for transport investment up to 2040 and beyond.

Demand for Manchester travel diagram

The period to 2040 is one of great opportunity for Greater Manchester to achieve its ambitions for a low-carbon, self-sustaining economy, and an improved quality life for people living and working in the city region.

Transport plays a critical role in delivering the changes needed and the challenge for our strategy will be to target future investment so that is has the maximum impact on achieving our economic, social and environmental aspirations and provides the level of service that users of our transport system will expect and demand.

What will success look like in 2040?

To make our vision a reality, we will need to achieve a number of specific outcomes in relation to economic growth, quality of life and the protection of the environment. Our strategy will identify the way in which we will achieve these outcomes.

To support sustainable economic growth we need:

  • less congested roads and public transport;
  • better access to skills and markets;
  • more reliable journey times;
  • a resilient and well-maintained network; and
  • a transport system fit for a major European city, which is viewed as a great place to visit and invest.

To improve the quality of life for our residents we need:

  • better access to jobs and training, and to health-care and other essential services;
  • a transport network that makes it easier to stay healthy through regular walking and cycling; and
  • improved road safety and reduced crime; and local environments that are not dominated by traffic, noise and pollution.

To help protect our environment, we need:

  • more people to travel by public transport, on foot and by bike;
  • a reduction in harmful emissions from vehicles;
  • to make best use of our existing transport infrastructure; and
  • a reduction in the damage that transport can do to natural environments.

In working towards the above outcomes, we will take advantage of the significant opportunities offered by technology and innovation to establish a truly integrated transport system.

To develop Greater Manchester as an innovative city region we need to support investment in transport to:

  • enhance the capacity, efficiency, resilience and safety of our transport networks;
  • improve customer experience through easy to use, integrated payment systems and real-time information;
  • understand better the needs of our travelling customers through ‘smarter’ data collection, trend analysis and forecasts;
  • reduce environmental impacts through low-emission vehicle technology; and
  • reduce the need to travel and transport goods through advances in digital communications.

Go back to the Vision 2040 home page