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Corporate Offer - Cycle Hub

Passenger reminder over bus service changes

Lee Howarth

A major bus timetable change will affect a number of services in the Greater Manchester area from Sunday 28 April.

As a result, bus passengers are being urged to plan their journeys in advance and familiarise themselves with the new schedule.

The new timetables are available to view online on Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM’s) website.

On Friday (26 April) members of the Bus Network and Transport for Greater Manchester Services Sub-Committee will be asked to approve funding that will enable some vital services to continue to operate across Greater Manchester*.

While the majority of the city-region’s bus services are run by commercial operators who are free to decide routes, timetables and set fare levels, TfGM spends millions of pounds a year** to financially support those that run at times of the day and in areas where there is a social need.

Councillor Roger Jones, Chair of the Bus Network and Transport for Greater Manchester Services Sub-Committee, said: “We understand that buses are a vital lifeline for many passengers across Greater Manchester, providing hundreds of millions of journeys per year and accounting for over three quarters of all public transport journeys.

“This is why we continue to work hard to help support bus users and, where possible, maintain transport links in areas where a strong social need is identified.

“We strive to strike the right balance with the resources available to us and provide value for money, whilst endeavouring to ensure vital transport links are maintained to help more people remain connected to family, friends, jobs, health and opportunities.”

For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit www.tfgm.com, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGM on Twitter.

*58, 68, 415, 501, 507 and 561/2 services, which run in Bolton, Middleton, Oldham, Rochdale, Eccles and the Trafford Centre.

**£27.1m in 2017/18; £26.4m in 2016/17; £27.2m in 2015/16 and £27.3m in 2014/15.

Bumper boost to the Bee Network: £137 million investment announced

Lee Howarth

A total of 18 new cycling and walking schemes with a total value of £137m will be considered by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) next week as part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network.

They represent the single biggest investment in cycling and walking ever announced in the city-region and mean Greater Manchester is investing around £18 per head per year on cycling and walking; one of the highest levels in the UK.

The latest schemes bring the total value of cycling and walking related-projects across Greater Manchester to around £204 million. Around £115 million of this funding is from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund with £88 million coming from local contributions.

If approved this would take the number of endorsed schemes so far to 42 and will deliver 319 new and upgraded crossings and junctions as well as 70 miles of new cycling and walking routes. This includes 14 miles of Dutch-style cycle lanes that are protected from motor traffic.

Schemes being proposed include plans for a £10.7 million cycling and walking corridor in Rochdale, a £11.6 million route between Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations, a spectacular 100 metre cycling and walking bridge linking Stockport railway station with the proposed new interchange, plus a £14.6 million bid to revolutionise travel on foot and by bike in Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley.

Active neighbourhoods, where the movement of people are prioritised over the movement of motor traffic, are also proposed in multi-million pound projects in Levenshulme and Ordsall.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Greater Manchester – we’re just at the start of a process that will see us eventually compete with some of the world’s best and most liveable cities like Vancouver, Copenhagen and New York City. Greater Manchester’s people, along with the 10 districts, have made it pretty clear that enabling more local journeys to happen without cars as part of a wider public transport offer is what is required to support the city-region on so many fronts – congestion, air quality, creating healthier and more connected communities. I’m delighted to be able to launch these plans in Leigh where we’re going to have some really high quality cycling and walking routes linking up local amenities.”

Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “The 42 schemes that are now on the books are truly transformational. We’ll get a real bang for our buck here in terms of the positive knock-on benefits that will be made possible by this investment.

“Some of the projects, like the proposed active neighbourhood in Levenshulme, have been entirely community-led and driven; the idea for it started by its own residents. More trips on foot or by bike just happen to be a by-product of creating better places to live.”

Transport for Greater Manchester has also proposed an independent research project to investigate using European-style crossings at minor side road junctions to improve safety and enhance the experience for people travelling on foot or by bike. Currently, zebra crossing-style markings are only permitted on UK roads where Belisha Beacons and zig zag markings are also in place and can cost around £30,000. If European-style crossings were to be permitted in the UK it would bring the cost per side road junction down to around £500.

Chris Boardman added: “The majority of European cities use zebra crossings at side roads to give a clear and simple message to drivers that they must give way to people travelling on foot. They are used in cities across the world and now we want to see if this approach can work in Greater Manchester.

“If it can, and with help from Department for Transport, it will enable us to quickly and cheaply ensure that people are much better protected on every-day journeys including trips to school, to the shops, to work.”

The 18 new proposed projects being funded as part of the Mayor’s Challenge Fund are:

Manchester

1. Active neighbourhood in Levenshulme - £2.5 million

The creation of an active neighbourhood in Levenshulme, where the movement of people is prioritised over the movement of motor traffic. The project includes a series of signalised and minor junction upgrades, parallel crossings, modal filters and investment in streetscapes to create a nicer environment for local trips on foot or by bike.

The project will cost in the region of £2.5 million with £2.4 million coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and Manchester City Council contributing £100,000.

2. Upgraded junction at Mancunian Way / Princess Road - £10.6 million

This project involves a full junction upgrade where Mancunian Way meets Princess Road. The existing subways will be removed and protected cycle tracks will be created, as well as pedestrian paths and a signalised crossing.

The full junction upgrade will cost in the region of £10.6 million. £7.7 million will be funded by local contributions with £2.9 million coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund, covering the cycling and walking elements.

3. Rochdale canal improvements - £1.3 million

The project involves upgrades to the Rochdale canal corridor linking existing and developing communities. This includes improvements to the canal towpaths, improved access under a low bridge at Butler Street and improved accessibility to four sets of steps.

The project will cost in the region of £1.3 million and will be funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

4. Piccadilly to Victoria route - £11.6 million

A new cycling and walking route enhancing the on foot and by bike experience from Manchester Piccadilly to Manchester Victoria stations, via the Northern Quarter, will be delivered with a host of public realm improvements.

The project is expected to cost in the region of £11.6 million with £1 million coming from the Government’s Cycle Cities Ambition Grant funding and the remaining £10.6 million from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

Rochdale

5. Castleton to Rochdale town centre route phase 2 - £10.7 million

To enhance the existing planned high-quality cycling and walking corridor which will link Rochdale town centre with Castleton, phase 2 of the project involves 0.7 miles of streetscape improvements, a 0.7 mile cycle street, five signalised junction upgrades and 0.6 miles of segregated cycling track.

The project will cost in the region of £10.7 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

Salford

6. Barton aqueduct – traffic-free route between Salford and Trafford Park - £5.3 million

This project will create a new traffic-free route between Salford and Trafford Park. This includes reinstating a historic raised towpath across the Barton aqueduct, two new ramps, towpath widening and surface improvements. Completing a key gap in the Bridgewater Way route, this scheme will link residential communities in Salford with major employment, retail and leisure opportunities in Trafford Park.

The project will cost in the region of £5.3 million with a £4.8 million contribution from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £500,000 in local contributions.

7. Liverpool Street cycling and walking corridor - £6.4 million

Creating a continuous safe link between Salford Quays and Manchester city centre, this project enhances the existing Liverpool Street corridor proposals, creating a safe and attractive environment for those travelling on foot or by bike. The project will deliver a 1.4 mile segregated cycle way, three major and 12 minor junction upgrades, six bus stop bypasses, five cycle parking spaces and public realm upgrades.

The project will cost in the region of £6.4 million. It is being funded with a £3.9 million contribution from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £2.5 million in local contributions.

8. Active neighbourhood in Ordsall - £2.8 million

The creation of an active neighbourhood in Ordsall where the movement of people is prioritised over the movement of motor traffic, this project will reduce car dependency and rat-running, as well as improving the experience of travelling to public transport hubs. It will deliver 10 junction upgrades, six new parallel crossings and 0.6 miles of light segregated cycle lanes, connecting the city centre with Ordsall riverside and Salford Quays.

The project will cost in the region of £2.8 million with a £2.6 million contribution from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £200,000 in local contributions.

Stockport

9. A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR) cycling and walking improvements - £1.4 million

This project increases the connectivity on foot or by bike of communities near the newly built A6 MARR corridor, including Heald Green, Stanley Green and Bramhall. This includes a 1.4 mile shared walking and cycling path and three new crossings for people walking and cycling.

The project will cost in the region of £1.4 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

10. Hazel Grove and Bramhall link – £4.1 million

Plugging an important gap in the network between Bramhall Park and Hazel Grove, this project will provide over two miles of new safe cycle route protected from traffic on the A5143 Jacksons Lane/Dean Lane including two signalised junction upgrades, seven minor junction upgrades, new crossings for people walking and cycling, bus stop-bypasses and cycle parking.

The project will cost in the region of £4.1 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

11. Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle Heath crossing improvements – £0.7m

Linking Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle Heath, this package of crossings will improve local connectivity making local trips on foot and by bike more attractive. The project includes four junction upgrades, two new crossings for people walking and cycling, 15 cycle parking spaces, two filtered neighbourhoods and one new access ramp.

The project will cost in the region of £700,000 and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

12. The Heatons cycling and walking improvements - £2.2 million
This project will create quiet routes that will connect the communities of Heaton Chapel, Heaton Moor and Heaton Mersey for journeys on foot and by bike. It will also link the Fallowfield Loop and the Trans Pennine Trail. This includes 1.9 miles of off-road paths, 12 minor junction upgrades, two signalised junction upgrades, new and upgraded crossings for people walking and cycling, modal filter points and cycle parking.

The project will cost in the region of £2.2 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

13. Ladybrook Valley - Cheadle Hulme and Bramhall links – £0.8m

This project will deliver a key missing link in the cycling and walking route in the Ladybrook Valley linking Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle. A 0.9 mile traffic-free cycling and walking path will be created as well as a ramp for access to Bramhall Park Road.

The project will cost in the region of £800,000 and will be funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

14. Stockport interchange cycling and walking elements - £57 million

This project will deliver a landmark new walking and cycling bridge spanning over 100m metres, providing a major new walking and cycling route linking the rail station, the new bus interchange, and Mersey Square. The project will also create a traffic-free public square, new crossings for people walking and cycling and secure cycle storage.

The projected cost for the Stockport interchange project is in the region of £57 million. The Mayor’s Challenge Fund will contribute £9 million and the remaining £48 million will come from local contributions.

Tameside

15. Crown Point, Denton - £2.5 million

Enabling more people in Denton to travel on foot or by bike, this project will improve the experience at and close to Crown Point junction. It includes a 0.6 mile segregated cycle lane, a 300 metre hybrid lane, one signalised junction upgrade, two parallel crossings, bus stop bypasses and cycle parking.

The project will cost in the region of £2.5 million and is being funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund.

Trafford

16. Wharfside and Trafford Park links - £2.8 million

Leading to more local trips on foot and by bike, this project focuses on enhancing the experience of key journeys across Stretford, Trafford Park, Old Trafford and Salford Quays. It will deliver 1.2 miles of segregated cycle lanes, 320 metres of shared use footway, two signalised junction upgrades, four parallel crossings and the conversion of a vehicular lane to a junction that works for people travelling on foot and by bike. It also includes cycle parking.

The project will cost in the region of £2.8 million with £2.7 million coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £100,000 in local contributions.

Wigan

17. Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley cycling and walking routes - £14.6 million

Revolutionising the on foot and by bike experience in Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley, this project will improve the safety and accessibility of the town centres as well as links to business, retail and public transport hubs. It includes 24 new or upgraded crossings, 6.2 miles of segregated cycling lanes, 7.8 miles of shared road paths, 11.2 miles of shared use footway, 16 ‘parklets’ (small on-street mini- parks that typically have seating, planting and bike parking) as well as improvements to the street scape.

The project is expected to cost in the region of 14.6 million with £13.9 million coming from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund and £700,000 in local contributions.

Greater Manchester

18. Greater Manchester bike hire scheme

A proposal to initiate a project to bring forward a GM-wide bike hire scheme will also be considered by the GMCA on 29 March. Further details will be announced in the Spring.

Introduction of Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) required for the Trafford Park Metrolink Extension

Lee Howarth

Dear Recipient,

In order to assist the operation of the tram and to ensure safety and accessibility for users on the highway, there is a need to introduce additional kerbside parking and loading restrictions, as well as other restrictions on movement, along various sections of the route.

For this project, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has already obtained the required legal powers to introduce the necessary parking, loading and access restrictions. These powers were obtained as part of “The Transport for Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) (Trafford Park Extension) Order 2016”. Objections to these restrictions cannot be considered at this stage, as this formal process was undertaken during the Public Inquiry in 2016.

The Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) contained within the 2016 Order are being introduced as necessary to support the construction programme. In order to support the safe and efficient operation of the new signalised junction of Mercury Way and Barton Dock Road the waiting and loading restrictions proposed for Mercury Way will be introduced on street and come into force on the 5th March 2019.

The length of restriction on the easterly side is as per the powers sought although please note that the restrictions on the westerly side of Mercury Way have been reduced in length to better accommodate the needs of the area.  However, should this reduced length cause safety or congestion issues then TfGM do have powers to extend them to the maximum permitted in the powers within a 12 month period of opening.

The lengths of restrictions that will be introduced for the 5th March are clearly explained in the plan (click here to access) and notice (click here).

If you have any queries regarding the powers under which these restrictions are being introduced or the Metrolink extensions in general, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Stakeholder Engagement team on 0161 244 1242 (office hours) or email metrolink.tpl@tfgm.com .

Kind regards,

Miriam Amies

Stakeholder Engagement Officer

Corporate Affairs

Transport for Greater Manchester

2 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BG

 www.tfgm.com

Statement on First Group

Lee Howarth

A message from TfGM:

Following the announcement that First Group intend to sell their Queens Road bus depot and operations to Go-Ahead Group, Transport for Greater Manchester has issued the following statement.

Cllr Mark Aldred, Chair of Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “Our first priority is passengers across Greater Manchester and affected staff.

“We have been reassured by both First and Go-Ahead that the transfer of services will be managed in the best way to minimise disruption. We will continue to liaise with both operators to monitor the situation closely during the transition, including seeking further clarity about the impact on passengers and staff.”

Multi-million pound electric bus boost for Greater Manchester

Lee Howarth

Busway_web_sized.jpg

Greater Manchester is set to receive a multi-million pound investment for dozens of new electric buses to help improve air quality across the city-region.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has successfully bid for £5.4 million government funding to part-fund 23 new electric buses and charging infrastructure, helping to cut down on harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate emissions.

The buses will be used on the successful Vantage service running on the Leigh – Salford – Manchester busway, and the Manchester city centre free bus network.

Three Greater Manchester bus operators – Stagecoach, First and Manchester Community Transport – have also been awarded part-funding for a total of 47 new electric buses.

The Department for Transport’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme aims to increase the uptake of ultra-low emission buses (ULEB), and support the improvement of local air quality.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, said: “This is good news for Greater Manchester’s bus passengers, who can now look forward to seeing even more modern, environmentally-friendly electric buses on our roads, in place of more polluting vehicles.

“Some buses contribute heavily to poor air quality, a problem that affects us all – but in particular the poorest and most vulnerable in society – and which contributes to the equivalent of 1,200 deaths every year in Greater Manchester.

“Buses have an essential role to play in that, which is why we’re working towards having a zero-emission bus fleet – and today’s funding announcement is another step in reaching that ambitious goal.”

Greater Manchester has a strong track record of taking advantage of available funding to upgrade the local bus fleet, targeting areas with poor air quality.

Following TfGM’s successful £3 million bid to the DfT Clean Bus Technology Fund last year, £1.87 million has been allocated to bus operators to retrofit 110 vehicles with pollution control equipment technology to reduce harmful NO2 tailpipe emissions. An estimated further 60 vehicles are to follow.

Prior to this, TfGM successfully bid to the ‘Clean Air for Schools’ programme to have its diesel Yellow School Buses retrofitted with similar equipment.

Today’s funding announcement complements Greater Manchester’s development of a Clean Air Plan to tackle Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) at the roadside.

To support any future Clean Air Plan, Andy Burnham has written to the Secretary of State for the Environment on behalf of Greater Manchester local authorities to ask for more early funding for the replacement and/or retrofit of buses which contribute to the city-region’s air quality problem.

There are nearly 2,000 buses running in Greater Manchester and around 350 currently have environmentally-friendly Euro VI engines. A further estimated 1,260 vehicles have Euro IV and V engines that could be retrofitted with clean technology to reduce emissions, while the remaining older vehicles cannot be retrofitted.

Twice the trams, half the wait

Lee Howarth

Metrolink_Eithad_tram_stop_landscape.jpg

Tameside tram travellers are set for a welcome boost with the number of services on the Ashton line to double next week.

From Monday 28 January, trams will run every six minutes on the line instead of the current 12, doubling capacity.

The move will halve the average waiting time to just three minutes, making Metrolink a more attractive transport option and enabling more people to access leisure, educational, cultural and employment opportunities.

Boosting the number of services to meet demand supports the aims of Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s ‘Congestion Deal’. Launched last year, the deal includes a series of measures to offer people more choice in their transport options and incentivise them to change their travel behaviour.

Encouraging more people to take up tram travel will also contribute towards the aims of the region’s Clean Air Plan. The plan is currently under development and will set out how we can tackle harmful levels of roadside air pollution across the city-region.

Mayor Andy Burnham said: “With extra capacity, reduced waiting times and a simpler and more flexible zonal ticketing system, it’s now easier than ever for communities in Tameside and east Manchester to use the tram.

“Congestion and air quality are two of the biggest issues facing the region and, by introducing measures such as this that reinforce Metrolink as a strong alternative to the car, we are working to tackle them head-on.

“The extra trams also complement the development of the new interchange at Ashton-under-Lyne – due to open in 2020 – which further supports the work we are doing to ensure we have a world-class, fit-for-the-future public transport network across Greater Manchester.”

Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “This is fantastic news and will make it even easier and more convenient for everyone – from local residents, students and workers to shoppers visiting the borough – to take the tram. It also supports our wider work to promote more sustainable travel.

“This investment comes at a great time for Ashton as we finalise our once in a generation Vision Tameside programme creating a new college and library, and look forward with excitement to the building of the Ashton Transport Interchange.”