Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Government signals approval for the remedy to cross Manchester bus travel

From Transport for Greater Manchester press release

A major project that will significantly improve cross city bus travel in Greater Manchester has won funding from the Government.

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, made in the House of Commons today, confirmed that the measures covered by the £54m Cross City Bus scheme can now go ahead.

It was one of 45 schemes competing for funding across the country.

The project, developed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in partnership with Manchester City Council, Salford City Council and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, will provide a package of improvements along three major bus routes:

Boothstown to Manchester via the A580 East Lancashire Road and A6 Broad Street/Crescent/Chapel Street;

Middleton Bus Station to Manchester via the A664 Manchester New Road and Rochdale Road; and,

East Didsbury to Manchester via Wilmslow Road and Oxford Road/Street.

A key aim of the scheme is to provide direct bus links across the city centre – so passengers will not have to change services or pay more than one fare – supported by infrastructure that will help to cut journey times and improve reliability.

In doing so, they will also provide better links between areas in the north, west and south of Greater Manchester and the education and health facilities on the Oxford Road corridor.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “This scheme will play a crucial role in improving the journey times and reliability of bus services for parts of Salford, Middleton, North Manchester and South Manchester.

“This will, in turn, offer new and improved links to jobs, education, healthcare and leisure pursuits. By laying the foundations to encourage through-services to run we aim to make bus travel a more attractive, reasonable alternative to the car for these journeys.

“We have been competing with projects across the country for this funding and would have had to go back to square one if we weren’t successful, so I’m really pleased that all the effort and hard work that went into making our bid as attractive as possible have borne fruit.

“The Government has clearly seen the value of this project and the other schemes covered in today’s statement. It demonstrates the clear value of the unique Greater Manchester Transport Fund and just what can be achieved when all ten local authorities work together.”

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: “This multi-million pound package will herald enormous improvements to bus services through the city centre, improving links between outer parts of the city region and jobs, education and healthcare facilities.

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