The announcement last week that the Government are providing £18 million to protect vital transport services in Greater Manchester is a tremendous boost for our area and is part of a wider package of £400 million that has been provided to Transport for Greater Manchester since the start of the Covid pandemic.
You may remember that the Government signed a ‘Trailblazer Devolution Deal’ with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, following the budget earlier this year which saw more powers transferred to our area and away from Westminster. As part of this deal, the Mayor has ultimate responsibility for transport in our area.
I along with the other Conservative MPs in Greater Manchester, have met with Rt. Hon. Mark Harper MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, along with other Ministers, to campaign for this extra funding for Greater Manchester. We have also successfully campaigned to ditch the tax on motorists and businesses planned by Andy Burnham’s 500 square mile Clean Air Zone.
I now look forward to seeing some of this extra funding used on improvements to Cheadle’s transport network. I have successfully campaigned, and we are now receiving almost £14 million from Government for a new train station in Cheadle but I am pressing the Mayor of Greater Manchester to extend Metrolink through to Cheadle which will open up our area and boost our connectivity.
The Government have also spent £33 million on improvements to the A34, and I am calling on the Mayor of Greater Manchester to reinstate bus services like the 307 and 308 which is a vital link for so many residents across Stockport. Good transport links are vital for business and to improve local connectivity which will in turn boost our local economy.
Despite financial constraints impacting the country, this latest funding reaffirms the Government’s commitment to supporting the network as it continues to combat declining bus and tram usage levels, inflation costs, historic debts and additional revenue risks from bus franchising, and continues to work towards long-term financial sustainability. I look forward to working with the Government to deliver on our transport priorities for our area.