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 10. Delivering our vision


​​This document sets out our long-term vision for transport in Greater Manchester to enable us to build on the major programme of transport improvements already planned or underway for delivery in the short to medium term future.

Achieving our vision requires transformational change in three areas: new investment; maintenance and renewal; and service delivery. Some of these changes can be achieved by the Greater Manchester authorities, whereas others will need us to work in partnership with the Government, national and local bodies and the private sector.

We need to make sure we can plan and deliver both new and improved services against a sustainable financial background. We will work with the Government through devolution and other opportunities to review how transport facilities, their maintenance and the services that operate on them, are best funded over the medium and long-term.

Connected neighbourhood jigsaw diagram




New Investment

Current programmes include a very significant expansion of the Metrolink network, alongside major bus priority schemes and new state-of-the-art transport interchanges.

Massive investment in the rail network is in the pipeline, starting with the electrification of several key routes but with a commitment by Network Rail to fund the Northern Hub improvements in full, and the Government announcement that Phase 2 of HS2 will bring high speed rail to Manchester.

Successful multi-million pound government funding bids are delivering major walking and cycling investment programmes, alongside comprehensive travel choices programmes to encourage much higher levels of active and sustainable travel across Greater Manchester.

We are also investing in our road networks, with a number of major schemes underway to relieve critical bottlenecks that could otherwise constrain our economy.

The increased role of mobile technology and the roll-out of broadband are transforming the way travellers search for and receive information as well as the management of our networks.

Maintenance and Renewal

Maintenance and renewal are vital to the safe and efficient functioning of our networks. A major programme of renewing Metrolink trams and passenger facilities is underway, along with a programme of updating bus stations.

Highway maintenance is a continuous activity, but successful national funding bids are allowing us to target additional investment on the Key Route Network. We are also using prudential borrowing to increase the level of investment in both maintenance and preventative treatments.

Service Delivery

In terms of service delivery we are developing a number of landmark reforms (some of which may require new legislation) to the way that we plan, deliver and manage transport in Greater Manchester. These include:

  • Greater integration of planning and funding across economic development, public health, health provision, land use planning and transport;
  • Development of the “Key Route Network” of major local roads across Greater Manchester, that will be managed as a single multi-modal network by TfGM on behalf of the GM Combined Authority, working in close partnership with Highways England;
  • Greater influence over the rail network through work with neighbouring regions on Rail North and Transport for the North
  • ;
  • TfGM management of local rail stations to deliver a step-change in quality of station provision in our local communities;
  • Considering whether new approaches for the delivery of bus services would enable a more consistent bus market with an integrated approach to service planning, marketing, fares and ticketing; and
  • A fundamental review with the Government of the medium-term funding arrangements for Greater Manchester.

There is more work to do to identify all the schemes and measures needed to achieve our 2040 vision. However, work done so far tells us that we are likely to need the following:

Global Connectivity

  • HS2 stations at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport
  • Improved access to Manchester Airport for goods and passengers
  • Sufficient road and rail capacity for Port Salford

City-to-City Links

  • Improved trans-Pennine and Mersey belt road and rail links
  • Improved public transport to the Airport
  • Improved local links to the motorway network

Regional Centre Connectivity

  • Improved bus circulation and interchange facilities
  • Improved pedestrian and cycle permeability across the centre including better wayfinding
  • Development of a rapid transit network to bring Metrolink style services to more key corridors
  • Improvements on the Inner Relief Road to remove bottlenecks and reduce severance for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Low emission city logistics Travel across wider city region
  • High quality interchanges in town centres
  • Development of a rapid transit network to link more of our major employment areas, like the Airport
  • Town centre access and circulation improvements for traffic and pedestrians/cyclists
  • Access to major development sites

Connected neighbourhoods

  • Continued roll-out of the Cycle City strategy
  • More pedestrian and cycle friendly local neighbourhoods

Throughout Greater Manchester

  • A continued sustained investment in travel choices and information programmes
  • A package of bus priority measures
  • Improvements to local rail stations
  • Improvements to the suburban rail network 
  • Continued improvements to road safety 
  • Improvements to traffic signals 
  • Greater investment in highways maintenance 
  • Smart technology to improve network efficiency and customer services 
  • Low emission vehicle rollout and car-sharing services 
  • Measures to reduce the impact of freight operations 
  • Development of more consistent interchange quality 
  • An integrated approach to all types of door-to-door transport 
  • Integrated ticketing and payment systems 
  • Commercialisation of facilities​​
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