By Mancunian Matters staff
Greater Manchester transport chiefs have today secured more than £32 million from the Department for Transport to reduce congestion and pollution across the area and promote healthier commuting.
Transport for Greater Manchester’s successful bid to the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund will kick-start a range of sustainable travel projects across Greater Manchester, including a wide range of walking and cycling initiatives.
The package also supports the expansion of Greater Manchester’s smart ticketing project, targeted community transport schemes and traffic management improvements.
The projects included focus on the areas of Greater Manchester where they can deliver the highest levels of economic prosperity and enterprise and aim to bring about long-term, positive changes to the way people choose to travel.
Greater Manchester’s bid was competing with projects from across the country and is part of a £266 million package announced by transport minister Norman Baker this morning.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “Our LSTF plans, which we have badged under the strapline ‘Let’s Get to Work’, have all the right ingredients for success and will build directly on the projects being delivered by the Greater Manchester Transport Fund by promoting travel access across the expanded transport system.
“We want to get more people into work, to broaden our talent pool, to reduce the burden of congestion on business, to reduce our carbon emissions and to improve the health of people in Greater Manchester.
“We talked to a host of organisations and businesses about our plans, and discovered a clear need, opportunity and desire for what’s proposed, so we are delighted that the Government has seen the full value of what we’re offering by approving £32.5 million of funding.
“Together with local contributions, we will be delivering a £53 million investment programme that will bring real benefits to the economy, the environment and the health of residents – all of which lie at the heart of what is an achievable and results-driven package.
“This will bring people, jobs and enterprise together with a well-connected, integrated and greener transport system – so today’s announcement really is great news.”
Greater Manchester’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund package has the potential to:
The funding will support the delivery of TfGM’s smart ticketing programme, and deliver a data management system to capture data from automatic vehicle location equipment and provide real-time information through the internet and smartphone apps.
It will also help TfGM make improvements to the way that it uses technology in traffic management in Greater Manchester, enabling the collection of real-time data to improve the efficiency of traffic signals and display variable message signing on key routes.
All of this is in addition to the Greater Manchester Commuter Cycle Project, funding for which was approved in summer last year, which is delivering new cycle centres and hubs across the region as well as a wide range of initiatives, working with local business to support and encourage people to cycle to work.