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Manchester calls for better public and private transport

Public and private transport facilities around Manchester must improve for the region to maximise the benefits of high speed rail, a candidate for a key role in the city’s devolution has insisted.

Public and private transport facilities around Manchester must improve if the region is to maximise the benefits of high speed rail, a candidate for a key role in the city’s devolution has insisted.
Greater Manchester police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd said it must become easier to access mainline stations.

Lloyd was making his case to become interim mayor of Greater Manchester at the last of four councillor engagement sessions, in Trafford earlier this month.

His rival for the role, Wigan metropolitan borough council leader and Greater Manchester Combined Authority chair Lord Peter Smith also spoke at the session and answered questions.

The interim mayor will lead Greater Manchester until an elected mayor is in place in May 2017. The government last week announced announced that the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill would go before Parliament over the next year to allow more spending powers to be handed to regional mayors.

Lloyd said at the event in Trafford: “We have to make sure our road system is efficient. We have to make sure people can access the mainline rail system.

“There is a value in faster travel between Manchester and Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield but it’s better if we have the capacity for people to access it. That means high quality internal transport, on the road and on public transport.”

Smith ruled out any attempt to bring in a congestion charge to fund transport projects.

“There is no plan and will be no plan while I’m involved to have a congestion charge,” he said. “We need to find other ways of funding transport.”

Lord Smith called for a circular bus route for the region.

“We have talked among the leaders about trying to find a circular bus route that does an M60-style route across Greater Manchester taking in the main towns,” he said. “Transport for Greater Manchester is doing an exercise on that.”

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