Manchester needs ‘swift’ post-budget action on second Transport fund, says Mayor

A second Transport Fund for Manchester will be “critical” following this week’s budget announcement. 

The first budget delivered by Chancellor Philip Hammond on Wednesday touched on plans to help reduce congestion in the city.

But Interim mayor Tony Lloyd said more needs to be done in order to make transport in the Manchester area world class. 

Talks are already rumored to be taking place to secure a second multi-billion pound transport deal, however the sum and the date of receiving the funds remains unknown. 

Mayor Lloyd said: “Creating a world-class transport system is a key priority for Greater Manchester.  

“Funding to cut congestion and improve transport networks in the North is welcome but swift progress on a second Transport Fund for Greater Manchester will be critical.”

There has been no announcement as to which modes of transport would be targeted if a second fund was established. 

But it is expected that work would focus on making transport in Manchester more synced. 

Connections between buses, trams and trains throughout the city could be one focal point, there have however been demands to expand the current Metrolink service to Stockport. 

Speaking to MM, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority said it would be unable to predict what work would take place due to too many factors remaining unknown.

But they did confirm that all work would be moving towards the 2040 Strategy, aiming to radically upgrade the region’s transport networks.

Manchester secured its first Transport Fund to the sum of £1.5bn in 2009 that funded the initial extension of the Metrolink.

The Mayor went on to say that he believes a number of the changes laid out in the budget would be of benefit to Manchester, but that the “devil will be in the detail.” 

He added: “The Government’s announcements on productivity, social care and skills look to be welcome moves.

“However, these announcements are balanced against year on year cuts to Greater Manchester council budgets and a projected social care funding gap of £176M within our city-region. 

“Greater Manchester Leaders would welcome the opportunity to ensure the skills measures announced today fit the needs of our city-region.  

“In Greater Manchester we’re already working with employers, colleges and agencies to give people the skills and qualifications that businesses really want, to get more people into better paid jobs and to raise the average salary of the region.”

Image courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester via YouTube, with thanks.

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