William Eichler 26 October 2018

Greater Manchester’s transport system ‘outdated’, Burnham says

Mayor Andy Burnham has called on the Government to give Greater Manchester more powers to look after the day-to-day running of the region’s transport.

The city-region’s growth is exposing an ‘outdated, fragmented and unaccountable’ transport system, Mr Burnham said yesterday.

The need to expand capacity of road junctions and the collapse of public confidence in rail services has created a ‘perfect storm’ which is disrupting people’s lives and livelihoods, he said.

The mayor called on Whitehall to devolve more power to Greater Manchester so that it could control the day-to-day running of its transport system, as is the case in London.

‘Greater Manchester is a growing city-region on the world stage but our transport network and infrastructure is holding us back. We lack basic powers over the day to day running of our transport system,’ he said.

‘I fully understand the frustration people feel at the delays and disruption we are currently experiencing. I feel it too, because I simply do not have enough powers at my disposal to get a grip on things.’ 

The Government has issued a deadline to Greater Manchester to deliver a Clean Air Plan by the end of the year.

However, Mr Burnham said that without more powers being granted to the city-region, the plan would be ‘undeliverable and unsuccessful.’

‘I am launching a public campaign calling on the Government to give us the powers to let us create the transport network we need,’ he said.

‘The “Take Control of our Transport” campaign offers a chance to channel the frustration we all feel at the current problem and turn it into a loud call for the change we need.

‘I am ready to be held to account to get Greater Manchester moving and to clean up our air. But I can’t do it without more basic control over the running of our system.’

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