The Greater Manchester Mayor has appointed Chris Boardman, previously the Walking and Cycling Commissioner, to the newly created role of Transport Commissioner.
A former professional cyclist, Chris Boardman has been tasked with accelerating the delivery of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network that encompasses walking and cycling routes and integration of public transport networks. Boardman will attend the newly established Bee Network delivery board, which meets weekly, to ensure that the city-region’s plans stay on track. Establishing an integrated, affordable and accessible transport system for the city-region formed a key tenet of Mayor Andy Burnham’s reelection campaign.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:
I am very pleased that Chris Boardman has agreed to become Greater Manchester’s first Transport Commissioner – his work and drive to make our city-region a global player to rival great places such as Copenhagen and New York over the last three years has been inspirational and I know he will apply this same vision in his new job.”
Transport Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said:
I am delighted to take on the role of Transport Commissioner. Our vision for Greater Manchester was never just about delivering quality cycling and walking routes. While they are essential ingredients in making Greater Manchester a better place to grow up, get on and grow old, they are only a part of the solution.
“If we combine our plan for a world-class active travel network, with trams, buses, trains, taxis and private hire, we can give people everything they need to travel around the region without needing to drive. Crucially, that will also help us achieve our goal to be carbon neutral by 2038. Greater Manchester can lead the country in showing how this can be done and I’m excited to play a part in making that happen.”
Also included in the announcement was confirmation that Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) would begin moving forward with plans to bring the city-region’s bus network back under local governmental control. GMCA will ask TfGM to begin the process to let contracts to run franchised services in Wigan and Bolton. Mr Burnham added:
I said on the very first day of my second term that we urgently need to get our buses working better for people across the city-region. That includes making sure that they are much more affordable, reliable and, most importantly, part of one single integrated ticketing system – as already happens in London. I want this in place as soon as possible and Greater Manchester’s Leaders and I will be asked next week to approve this important next step in our journey.”
Further plans to introduce a bike hire scheme are also moving forward. The results of a TfGM survey to gauge public interest showed 54% of those in the proposed area for the service would be interested in using a bike hire scheme, including 45% of women, who currently only account for a quarter of cyclists in Greater Manchester.
Chris Boardman commented:
All the data suggests the cycle hire scheme is likely to lead to a huge increase in the numbers choosing to get around by bike, especially women.
“Ownership, storage and maintenance of a bike are all barriers for many and cycle hire will take that away by offering an affordable, sustainable and healthy transport alternative to hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors. I travel around the region every week, so I am one of the many that can’t wait to personally use the service.”
Phase one of the cycle hire scheme will cover the regional centre, the Etihad stadium, Old Trafford, the Oxford Road cycling and walking corridor, Chorlton, Salford Quays and the University of Salford.