​Greater Manchester Rail Policy

A successful rail network is vital to the success of Greater Manchester. Over the past decade Greater Manchester has reinvented itself, becoming less dependent on manufacturing and opening up new markets in financial, service and creative industries. At the same time Greater Manchester's Journey to Work Area (already the second largest in the country after London and the south east) continued to expand. In response to these changes rail has seen its popularity grow as people travel from further afield to work in the Regional Centre and a number of other locations; and as a result peak-time patronage into the centre of Manchester has increased by 30% between 2001/2 and 2009/10. Furthermore, forecasts as well as experience suggest that this is not a temporary blip, and that as a result of structural changes in the local economy, growth is expected to continue, despite the recent economic downturn.

This growth is to be welcomed and encouraged, but with these successes come challenges. Greater Manchester has a 21st century economy but a 19th century rail network. If rail is to play its full part in sustaining our economic development it must be capable of meeting the demands placed on it. That means having rolling stock to meet the number of passengers that want to travel; the network capacity to carry all the services that train operators want to run and stations that are safe and appealing and provide the facilities that passengers expect. It also means having fares that are attractive, but that allow revenue to be generated so that it can be reinvested and a range of tickets that suit people's travel patterns and provide value for money. It also means increasing the amount of freight that can be carried so that the road network is freed up to carry more valuable traffic. The Greater Manchester Rail Policy is intended to set out how those objectives can be met.

With a timeframe from 2012 to 2024 this Policy is intended to inform Greater Manchester's contribution to the development of the Industry Plan and the HLOS (High Level Output Statement) 2 and 3 (the Government's proposals for those improvements it wants to buy between 2014-19 and 2019-2024). It also forms the basis for our discussions with bidders for future rail franchises.

The Policy covers the following key areas:

  • Connectivity and Services

  • Rolling Stock

  • Fares and Ticketing

  • Stations

  • Rail Freight

 

Greater Manchester Rail PolicyGreater Manchester Rail Policy

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