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Corporate Offer - Cycle Hub

Greater Manchester makes rail devolution ‘Case for Change’

Lee Howarth

Plans to put passengers first and transform Greater Manchester’s local rail stations into community hubs were unveiled yesterday.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has submitted its ‘Case for Change’ to the Department for Transport, in a bid to secure a multi-million pound investment and regional accountability by bringing Greater Manchester’s rail stations under local control.

The submission has been made on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), in line with the 2014 devolution agreement and 2040 strategic vision for transport to drive economic growth and regeneration.

The detailed business case recommends the wholesale transfer of station ownership and management from Network Rail and train operators to Greater Manchester as the best solution to help stations realise their full potential.

It sets out plans for long-term investment to enable local stations to: act as community hubs; offer a seamless journey through better integration with the wider transport network; improve access to jobs and local facilities; and act as a catalyst for local regeneration and social enterprises.

Subject to an ‘in principle’ Government agreement by summer this year, 94 local rail stations could transfer to Greater Manchester custodianship in the next two to three years, with city centre Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria and Oxford Road to follow thereafter.

The current model of station ownership does not allow for long term customer focus and planning and stations and their facilities have not evolved in line with customer expectations. This is due to the short length nature of current rail franchise contracts with funding mechanisms of up to no more than nine years.

If approved, over £400 million – combined from existing funding streams and additional Greater Manchester investment – would be invested in local stations over the next two decades, with potential to use related land assets for additional housing, commercial development and improved car parking.

Greater Manchester’s plans would act as a catalyst for social business initiatives that could see stations support local health and well-being by offering community gyms, cafes and health centres.

Stations could also include art galleries, room for concerts, performing arts, festivals, and local weekend markets – and space for offices and meetings, conferences and training and development.

Rail station transfer will help stimulate significant economic investment in local communities and spread economic benefits more widely across the region, helping GM deliver its ambition of an extra 227,000 home by 2035. Preliminary analysis suggests that there is immediate scope for the construction of 119 housing units on underused adjacent land and station facilities.

Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Mayor, said:  “Many of Greater Manchester’s rail stations do not meet the expectations of the travelling public. Stations have lost their place in the community, more than half lack step-free access, and some can be intimidating to use, particularly at night. I believe it is important that our transport assets do not just meet, but exceed the demands of users. The case for change is clear. 

“With a transfer of rail station responsibilities we can envision our local rail stations as thriving community hubs that can open up access to jobs, housing and leisure.

“Our ‘Case for Change’ plan offers a long-term approach to investment and growth that our industry partners have simply been unable to deliver under the constraints of the current system. It makes financial sense, benefits local communities and puts passengers first.

“Crucially, these proposals support our 2040 transport strategy for an integrated transport network, which has received widespread support from local residents, businesses and organisations.

“We will work with the Government and support where we can to ensure a quick decision is made - we want to start delivering change as soon as possible.  This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference for local residents and passengers.”

Jon Lamonte, TfGM’s Chief Executive, said: “Under the current system, Greater Manchester’s rail stations have not developed in line with customer expectations.

“This is an innovative approach that that would transform local stations into transport hubs that are well-used, offer a pleasant travel experience and improve quality of life by offering a useful asset for the local community.

“The recent redevelopment of Irlam rail station has already showcased how our vision can become a reality, demonstrating just what can be achieved when local stations realise their full social and economic potential.”

TfGM has been working with established industry experts who have worked on large scale social enterprises to develop an approach to realise its vision for Greater Manchester’s rail stations.

Read our social prospectus (Action Stations) here and the Executive Summary of the Case for Change proposal can be found here.

For a case study of what we believe can be achieved please read our overview of the redevelopment of Irlam Station here.

Metrolink Trafford Park Line - Elevator Road - Temporary Closure

Lee Howarth

Dear Recipient,

As you may be aware, advance works have started on the much anticipated Metrolink Trafford Park Line. This new six stop route will offer fast, frequent connections to jobs, leisure, shopping and cultural destinations and across the wider tram network.

To enable joint utility works to take place, a one-way temporary closure will be in effect along the Eastside of Elevator Road from Trafford Wharf Road to Wharfside. This closure will follow on from the completion of works and re-opening of Warren Bruce Road.

Vehicles will only being able to travel from Wharfside to Trafford Wharf Road during the Elevator Road closure. It is anticipated that these works will start on 27th March and last for approx. 2 weeks.

There will be a signposted diversion route in place and parking will be affected in the area.

Please click here to access details of the traffic management scheme route map.

Where parking is affected, advance notification will be given via notices on lampposts and leaflets on cars.

TfGM will continue to engage with stakeholders and will provide further information as we progress. In the meantime, if you have any queries or if you would like to arrange a meeting, please contact the team on 0161 244 1555 or email MetrolinkTPL@tfgm.com.

Kind Regards,

Bethan Stanway
Communications Officer

Transport for Greater Manchester

2 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BG

www.tfgm.com

Road users warned ahead of weekend closure of Mancunian Way

Lee Howarth

Transport for Greater Manchester has released a map and created a travel advice page highlighting the road closure and diversion routes, to help drivers understand the changes and adapt journeys where necessary.

Manchester City Council is carrying out its annual inspection and maintenance of the road on the weekend of 25-26 March, starting from midnight on the Friday until midnight Sunday.

The closure affects the whole road and is between Dawson Street and Fairfield Street at all times.

The closure means an increased risk of roads congestion in the surrounding area, particularly between 10am and 4pm, with a potential impact on journey times for drivers and bus passengers, says TfGM.

TfGM’s Head of Travel Demand Management, John Fryer, said: “Our advice is for people to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journey.

“We’ve been working in devising alternative routes and our research has shown it will be quicker for commuters to travel on the M60 rather than through the city centre.

“If you are travelling in to the city centre we would advise you think about all your travel choices.”

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.

Free cycling workshop! Sign-up to the cycling revolution this spring!

Lee Howarth

Join us at the University of Manchester next month for a workshop which will give you all the information you need to promote cycling at your workplace.

Whether you want to increase the number of employees who commute by bike, or make more short business trips on two wheels, the two-hour session on Wednesday 5th April will be an ideal one-stop shop for cycling information.

We will also be holding an electric bike demonstration to show how these modern alternatives to the traditional bicycle are great for everyone to use. Feel free to give one a go!

Other topics we will cover include:

  • Exclusive Travel Choices employee cycle shop discount
  • How to join in the European Cycle Challenge
  • Sustainable Travel Grants to pay for infrastructure like showers and cycle storage areas
  • How we can help organise cycling events at your workplace


Chris Taylor, from TfGM’s Travel Choices team, said: “Cycling is great way for companies to introduce sustainable travel.

“For relatively little outlay, the benefits are really impressive, including savings on car parking spaces, more resilience when faced with problems on roads, rail or trams and a healthier, more productive workforce.”


The session will also promote Travel Choices’ walking initiative, with details of how to get involved in May’s GM Walking Festival.

The workshop is being held at the Simon Building, Room 5.08. at the University of Manchester, between 10am and 12 noon. Spaces are limited, so please click here book your place. 

European Cycle Challenge 2017 - Help us to get Greater Manchester on the European Cycling Map this May

Lee Howarth

Can your organisation help get Greater Manchester on the European Cycling Map this May?

The European Cycling Challenge (ECC) is a ‘urban cycling’ competition taking place annually every May. It started life as a small pilot in Bologna, with around 70 people, but is now one of the biggest European cycling events. In 2016, 52 cities from 17 Countries joined the Challenge, and 46,000 people cycled 4,000,000 km during May. This year sees Greater Manchester taking part for the first time, led and promoted by Transport for Great Manchester in conjunction with cycling partners and stakeholders across the region.

The competition approach turns cycling trips into fun activities, encouraging people to use their bikes for leisure or commuting as much as possible. Participants track their journeys with a free tracking App and online leader boards will show distances travelled for all participating cities. Registration is possible via the Naviki App from the 1st April and the competition officially begins on the 1st May. The ECC will also provide valuable GPS data on movements and routes travelled, which can be used to influence cycling network and infrastructure planning.

In order to get Greater Manchester firmly on the European cycling map, and as high up the leader boards as possible, we need the help and support of partners and businesses in Greater Manchester.

This is where you come in! We need you to….

·         Communicate and promote the challenge within your organisation/team throughout April and May, and encourage your employees/colleagues to register to take part. We will be supplying a ‘toolkit’ containing content and images that can be used across digital, social media and for newsletters etc. nearer the time

·         Spread the word via your own partners, suppliers and stakeholders

·         Share your ideas with us for how we can get as many people in Greater Manchester as possible to sign up and take part

Please let us know if you are interested in getting involved and supporting in any way by emailing cycling@tfgm.com and we will be in touch to discuss your individual involvement.

Let’s all get together as Greater Manchester to make a big impact on the European Cycling Challenge in our first year!

You can find out more at www.cyclingchallenge.eu

Rachel Scott

TfGM Active Travel Team

Making travel easier for local apprentices

Lee Howarth

The pilot scheme has been jointly developed and funded by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in response to feedback from apprentices and their training providers.

Eligible apprentices, who often struggle with transport costs as they are not entitled to discounted travel, can now apply for a free 28-day travel pass valid on bus or Metrolink services across the region.

People who are interested in cycling to work can join the ‘Apprentice Bike to Work’ scheme, which offers apprentices access to free recycled bikes, cycle training and bike maintenance courses provided by TfGM.

The bikes also come with cycling accessories and safety equipment such as lights and helmets.

Apprentices from around 30 training providers across Greater Manchester have been invited to take part in the scheme, which will initially run until the end of March 2018.  If the pilot is successful, TfGM and GMCA plan to roll out a longer-term travel offer for Greater Manchester apprentices. 

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “The cost of travel can make it difficult for apprentices, particularly young people, to get to work as they are not entitled to the same discounted travel full-time students receive.

“Giving people recycled bikes and cycle training can set them up with a particularly healthy, low cost and practical way of getting to work – especially where shifts or location rule public transport out.

“We hope that both these schemes, which are part of a wider Travel Choices package aimed at getting people to work in a sustainable way that’s good for the economy and the environment, will make it easier for apprentices to travel to work.”

Cllr Sean Anstee, GMCA’s Vice Chair and Lead Member for Skills, Employment and Worklessness, welcomed the launch:

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to develop skills, earn a wage and achieve a qualification while working. Around 30,000 people across Greater Manchester take up an apprenticeship each year, but we recognise that apprenticeship wages are sometimes quite low in the early days. This scheme will help to balance out travel costs and that’s why we’re delighted to be working with TfGM on the pilot.

“We want to do all we can to support Greater Manchester residents of all ages who want to take up an apprenticeship as part of their career development. We’re looking at what we can do to tackle barriers in the longer-term, but in the meantime this pilot offers a welcome helping hand.”

All applications should be made through training providers to find out if apprentices are eligible.  For more information about the scheme contact the TfGM Travel Choices team at access@tfgm.com.