Greater Manchester's Transport Innovation Fund public transport and congestion charging package will create 10,000 jobs, according to research published today.
The scheme, which will go to a postal ballot to be returned by December 10, will fund £3bn in public transport improvements, including significant extensions to the Metrolink. But Mancunians must also accept a congestion charging scheme which will cost drivers up to £5 per day.
Arup associate director Julian Wells worked on the report: "This is a huge investment in infrastructure that will create many jobs in building and implementing the transport measures over the medium term, and then in operating and maintaining the system in the long term. There will be further impacts in the supply chain, and the spending by those employed."
His research suggests that between 2009 and 2013 as many as 5,800 new jobs will be created directly and indirectly across Greater Manchester - as the bulk of the TIF cash is invested locally.
An estimated further 3,900 jobs may then be created directly and indirectly from the expanded transport system and its supply chain between 2014 and 2019.
The research suggestes that the majority of jobs created during the initial four year period to 2014 will be in the construction industry and associated supply chain. Further jobs may be created as a result of the increased spending power of workers employed in these areas.
Leader of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, Lord Peter Smith, said: "This report clearly demonstrates the beneficial impact TIF is set to have not just on improving public transport but also in affecting the economy by increasing employment across Greater Manchester.
"The findings show that the TIF package alone is set to vastly increase the number of new jobs being created in the region every year and at a time when economic growth is slowing, this very direct boost to the local economy is perfectly timed to help combat a recession – especially as charging would not be introduced until 2013 at the earliest but job creation would be from 2009.
"The ripple effect as a result of £3bn investment could be worth up to £10bn to the economy at a time of an economic slowdown," said Lord Peter.
Unions have reacted positively, the TUC's North West secretary saying: "Unions are very encouraged by the real jobs that the proposed investment under the TIF bid would create - in the construction trades when the GMPTE starts to put in place the new tramways, bus stations and larger rail stations, in supporting a much larger public transport network and in the wider business opportunities that the investment would give to local and UK based businesses."
The Dean of Manchester University’s Business School, Professor Lugar agreed: "Whatever jobs are created to build and operate the enhanced public transit facilities and services, there also will be job creation from ‘induced location’.
"That is from businesses that will find it attractive to move to and expand in Greater Manchester because of its improved public transport system. Numerous studies conclude that good mobility and quality of life are two of the most important location factors for businesses today, and the TIF package would contribute to both those attributes," he said.