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TIF is the only game in town

The Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) is the only credible option for transport funding for Greater Manchester’s transport network according to the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA).

Conventional government funding for transport could take up to 50 years to provide the scale of investment in public transport proposed under Greater Manchester’s bid to the TIF.

A public consultation about the TIF package aimed at residents and businesses in Greater Manchester will be held throughout the summer, starting today.

AGMA leader Lord Peter Smith said: "This package of up to £3bn will deliver more carriages on peak times trains, more seats on longer trams, a significant expansion of the Metrolink network, better buses serving more destinations and improved integration making it easy for commuters and travellers to change between buses, trams and trains. No other form of funding can support the level of investment we need nor is there any indication that this will change before 2013."

Alternatives to TIF funding are explored in an information pack, available now to the public during formal consultation. This examines a range of potential alternatives to TIF funding. All have been rejected as either unworkable or unable to provide the level of funding Greater Manchester’s public transport needs.

Greater Manchester’s TIF package is the single largest transport investment ever undertaken outside London.

If it is approved, following consultation, up to £3bn will be invested into Greater Manchester’s transport network. This comprises Government grants of £1.5bn, £1.2bn of local funding supported by future revenue from a weekday peak-time only congestion charge and £0.1bn of third party contributions.

The DfT has also confirmed that it will fund extra railway rolling stock for the city-region supporting in excess of 7,000 extra passengers at peak times. Further investment will be made by the private sector bus operators.

Borrowings of £1.2bn will be funded by the revenue generated by the congestion charge and the improved, additional public transport.

The investment will be split across 30 different public transport schemes across the 10 districts of Greater Manchester. At least 80% of the transport improvements will be in operation before the introduction of a congestion charge, in the summer of 2013 at the earliest.

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