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 8. Travel across the wider city region


​​If we are successful then by 2040:

  • Our town centres will be transformed into vibrant and attractive destinations with more diverse economies, and with more people living in and around them. Attractive streets and public spaces will help bring in new investment. Most trips to our main town centres will be made by sustainable transport, using high quality public transport services and walking and cycle routes.
  • Effective connections for orbital journeys will make it much easier to reach key Greater Manchester destinations such as hospitals, colleges and employment areas without a car. Integrated ticketing, services and bespoke, ‘real time’, travel information will enable more seamless public transport interchange, while walking and cycling will be modes of choice for short trips.
  • Journey times on the busiest local roads will be more reliable, air quality improved, and roads will be better maintained.
  • New development will be focused in areas with good public transport and served by good quality walking and cycle routes.

Greater Manchester has a network of town centres and major employent locations outside the regional centre. Ensuring that trips to key destinations like town centres, employment areas and hospitals can be made easily, and by a choice of mode, is a challenge for our strategy.

Our town and district centres are vital to Greater Manchester, both as important economic and community focal points, and as local transport hubs. As people’s shopping and leisure habits change, these centres will need to reinvent themselves. This will require good access by all transport modes. Improvements to walking and cycling access, parking and public transport and streets designed for people, not just cars, will all help to attract investment into local centres.

Transport provision needs to support the regeneration of centres, to create high quality places to live, work and do business. It also needs to reflect the role and potential of different places, for example the largest centres, like Bolton and Stockport, have been identified as having potential to attract more office development, while others, such as Bury and Wigan, can serve a catchment area that extends beyond the Greater Manchester boundary. Other centres need to strengthen their roles as local service centres.

Liverpool ONEWhile most areas have good access to jobs in the regional centre and main town centres, there are other locations that are or will become important sources of employment. These include the Airport/Airport City, Trafford Park/Port Salford area and Logistics North in Bolton. Further key growth areas may be identified through the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

Improved and better integrated public transport and better cycle links will be needed to access these and other large employment sites, both to enable people to access jobs and to reduce congestion.

Major employment developments are also planned in neighbouring areas, e.g. Omega and Lingley Mere adjacent to the M62 in Warrington will create 24,000 jobs. We need to make sure Greater Manchester residents can access these jobs, but also ensure that the extra travel demand does not cause congestion. We also need to reduce congestion on routes where there are already strong commuter flows to and from neighbouring areas.

Logistics sites are likely to become increasingly important as the demand for internet shopping and home deliveries increases the need for distribution centres. We will need to manage the impact of goods vehicles on the road network, including their impact on air quality.

Good transport links to key locations such as hospitals and further education colleges will also be critical. This is a challenge because the specialisation of different facilities means that it is not possible to provide everyone with direct access to them. Local interchanges, particularly those in town centres, will therefore have an important role to play as part of our vision for one integrated public transport system, particularly as integrated smart ticketing makes it easier and more affordable for people to change between services or types of transport and reach a wider range of destinations. Walking and cycling are also important in providing these links. We will need to take opportunities to improve off-road walking and cycling routes, e.g. using our canals and greenways to develop a well connected network for active travel.

Damaging emissions from transport affect the whole of Greater Manchester, in terms of both air quality and carbon. As well as introducing more low emission buses and goods vehicles and encouraging more people to travel by public transport, by bike or on foot, we will boost the uptake of zero emission vehicles by providing more charging points for electric vehicles in local centres.

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