The Great Green Transport Strategy of Greater Manchester

Manchester announced a new transport strategy to completely transform the city, one of the UK’s largest urban areas and laid a roadmap to achieve the goal of being carbon-neutral by 2038.

The newly proposed layout includes various objectives including 65 new transport projects, the addition of 50,000 new homes and a commitment to tackle air pollution.

A total of £1bn has been allocated for the grand project but Mayor Andy Burnham has confirmed more will be required in the region of an additional £3bn.

“At a time of national uncertainty, Greater Manchester is starting the year with confidence and a clear, united statement about our future direction. We know where we want to go and today we invite partners and investors to join us on that journey. We believe the package we are announcing is radical, offers new thinking on the big challenges – housing, transport, and the environment – and cuts through the policy paralysis of Brexit” he said.

This development scheme is a step forward in Greater Manchester’s headline target- to become a ‘zero carbon city’ by 2038, drafted in 2016 and formally adopted in November.

“Greater Manchester seeks to promote investment in new zero-carbon technologies, to reduce the reliance on carbon-based fuels to accelerate the speed at which such new technologies become financially viable and/or technically feasible,” yesterday’s plan states. “It is therefore considered prudent to not exploit new sources of hydrocarbons and keep fossil fuels in the ground so at this point in time Greater Manchester will not support hydraulic fracturing (fracking).”

With road transport accounting for 65 percent of NOx and 79 percent of particulate emissions in Manchester, Burnham promised the new strategy would “create a much clearer link between development and public transport, rejecting the outdated thinking of building only for the car.”

Transport 2040 delivery plan, lists 65 projects earmarked for delivery over the next five years. These include construction of the new Metrolink tramline extension to Trafford Park, 27 new trams, expansion of the city-region’s electric vehicle charging network, zero emission public vehicle fleets, and a new Park & Ride service across Greater Manchester.

By 2025, as many as 600,000 more trips on public transport in Manchester could be taken every day, GMCA estimates.

From 2028 all new developments in Greater Manchester must produce net zero carbon emissions, according to the draft strategy, which simultaneously sets a minimum target of building a minimum of 50,000 additional ‘affordable’ homes between now and 2040.

“As ever, the devil is in the detail, but this leaves no doubt about the direction of travel,” said John Alker, director of policy and places at the UK Green Building Council. “This is a challenge that the industry can and should embrace, leading to better buildings for both people and planet.”