Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has announced plans to double the number of daily rail journeys in the regional centre to 200,000 by 2040.
Burnham’s Our Prospectus for Rail also outlines ambitions to triple the use of the Metrolink network, double the number of rail journeys to Manchester Airport, and achieve a minimum standard of four trains per hour from all National Rail stations in the city region.
The key to achieving this would be the introduction of multimodal zonal ticketing within the next ten years, similar to that which is already in operation in London.
Metrolink would also be further enhanced, using 27 new trams that are already on order, and possible extensions to Stalybridge, Middleton, Port Salford and a new HS2 station at Manchester Airport.
Other measures include platform lengthening at selected stations on heavy rail routes, and for existing infrastructure commitments to be delivered - including the TransPennine Route Upgrade, and the four-tracking of the congested Castlefield Corridor.
Burnham said: “We need a fully integrated transport network that allows people to travel seamlessly between modes with simple, affordable ticketing. Our Prospectus for Rail underpins the transformational change we need on the local rail network to support growth.
“Performance figures continue to reiterate what I have made clear for a long time - that the rail network is letting down Greater Manchester’s passengers and businesses. I have heard too many stories of people who have given up on trains because they just can’t rely on them to get them to work on time.”
Burnham’s call for greater local accountability over rail services follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on September 13 that local authorities in northern England could be granted greater control over fares, service patterns, rolling stock and stations in their areas (RAIL 888).
For the FULL story, read RAIL 889, published on October 9, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from October 5.