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Greater Manchester’s Congestion Deal

Andy Burnham Mayor of Greater Manchester

Congestion graphic (2)


The Congestion Deal was born out of a conversation I held with the people of Greater Manchester in 2017 where I asked for feedback on how congestion affects you and what you thought the priorities for tackling it should be. Over 7,000 people responded to the survey and those responses informed this deal.

But it doesn’t end there. Every day my Twitter feed and inbox are filled with detailed accounts of the difficulties people experience commuting to work, taking the kids to school or getting to appointments on time because of congestion.

You have made it clear that congestion has a significant impact on your time; your access to employment, education and opportunities; as well as your health and wellbeing. To date, no successful city in the world has managed to eliminate congestion. And I can’t promise to eliminate it in Greater Manchester. But some places do manage congestion better than us, and we need to learn from those places.

We need to be better at adopting innovative ideas and making use of new technology. Crucially, we need to do more to get people out of their cars and encourage them to cycle, walk or use public transport.

There is no one single solution, but there are simple things we can be doing better.

I asked Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to develop this congestion deal with the ten Greater Manchester local authorities and a reference group of transport experts. They were asked to assess new ideas and identify existing schemes that could be expanded or brought forward for implementation over three years (to 2021), in line with Our Network.

The deal is focused on people rather than vehicles. While there are measures to improve the way the road network is managed and to provide better use of road space, many of the interventions proposed are not traditionally transport solutions. For example, working with businesses and other employers to enable more flexible working so that fewer people have to travel at peak times.

So far, we’ve introduced a 24/7 control centre to monitor Greater Manchester’s roads, invested in new traffic cameras and technology that work smartly to ease road congestion and have trialled this technology to keep buses running on time along some of the busiest corridors.

We’ve also committed to introducing 27 more trams to the Metrolink network, introduced contactless payments on the network and launched the Working Differently campaign alongside the GM Chamber of Commerce, helping businesses to adapt their working practices to ease congestion and improve their employees’ commutes and work-life balance.

Many of these ideas have come directly from the people of Greater Manchester and our journey to help ease congestion continues. And if it is to be a success, we need everyone to do their bit - from businesses to bus operators, from councils to commuters.

If we do what Greater Manchester does best, and we work together, then I know we can make Greater Manchester an even better place to live and work.

Everyone has a role to play.