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What is devolution?

Devolution is the transfer of certain powers and responsibilities from national government to a particular region. Decisions made locally can better meet the needs and aspirations of local people.

As part of the devolution process, Greater Manchester has increased responsibility in areas including health, planning, housing, support for business, training, policing and transport.

A growing economy needs effective transport to give people real choice and opportunities, and to connect developers and employers to talent and skills.

Buses and devolution

Bus services are vital for Greater Manchester’s society and economy. Around 80 per cent of public transport journeys made in Greater Manchester are by bus.

Greater Manchester currently has a deregulated bus system, where the majority of services are provided on a commercial basis by private bus companies. For these services the routes, fares, frequencies, timetables and quality standards are decided by the bus operators. TfGM and the local authorities in Greater Manchester have no control over commercial bus services.

Under the current system, it is very difficult to coordinate services, and to connect them to other transport modes such as Metrolink and rail services. It also means that the fares and tickets are complicated and passengers have to pay more if they wish to travel with more than one operator.

Devolution will give the elected mayor of Greater Manchester the ability to franchise bus services, subject to public consultation. Bus franchising is the model currently used in London and other global cities such as Sydney and Amsterdam. Under this system, it will be for the mayor to decide the routes, frequencies, timetables, fares and quality standards for all buses in Greater Manchester.

This will help to make bus services consistent and joined-up. It will make it possible for every passenger to use their tickets on any bus in Greater Manchester, as well as other forms of public transport.

The aim is to place the needs of the customer at the heart of Greater Manchester’s transport network.

Rail stations and devolution

Over 80 percent of Greater Manchester’s 97 rail stations are more than 100 years old, with many largely unchanged from when they were first built. However they are being used more than ever before.

Rail station devolution means that TfGM has the opportunity to explore options for taking an active role in the management and control of rail stations in Greater Manchester.

This is with a view to having local oversight of rail stations and getting better value from tailored investment. The aim is to put stations at the heart of local communities making sure they play their part within an integrated transport system.

Roads and devolution

Greater Manchester’s roads are vital to our local economy. They must function effectively with minimum delays and congestion.

The region's 10 local councils are responsible for the roads in their area, but there has been little central, strategic overview for managing roads across council boundaries.

But devolution brings Greater Manchester roads into a single 'Key Route Network' (KRN).

We have strategic responsibility for the KRN. We will be able to monitor the network more efficiently and to develop policies to keep traffic moving and to maximise investment. And we're looking at much more coordinated maintenance and renewal of roads in the future.