Sustainable and integrated transport is central to Greater Manchester’s ambitions for a decarbonised and levelled-up City Region: improving access to economic opportunity, unlocking new sites for residential and commercial development, promoting improved health and wellbeing through active travel, and making a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of the city region’s economy.
This ambition has shaped our vision for the Bee Network, a fully integrated London style transport system which will join together buses, trams, cycling and walking by 2024, with commuter rail incorporated by 2030.
Across the city region there are 3.48 million bus journeys a week, making up around 75% of all public transport trips. Yet services across Greater Manchester remain fragmented, with poor quality buses, confusing fares, poor connectivity, limited customer information and unreliable journey times on polluting buses.
Taking bus services back under public control is a critical element of delivering Greater Manchester’s Bee Network, a fully integrated London style transport system, which is a key priority for the elected Mayor of Greater Manchester, for Greater Manchester’s Leaders and TfGM.
£135m has been allocated to the transition to bus franchising, to establish a co-ordinated transport system, releasing the potential of our many diverse communities and businesses, connecting people, communities, leisure, health, jobs and business. Successful development and implementation of our franchising programme will be complex and challenging, but also rewarding, high-profile and cutting edge.
Greater Manchester is leading the way in the UK on bus franchising. We are further ahead than anyone else in delivering a new model for bus services, taking services back under public control. We’ve had our challenges in bus franchising, but are committed to delivering on the fundamental, once in a generation, transformation of the market and services in Greater Manchester. This will create a modern, clean, integrated, safer, better value bus service to all our communities and business across the city region, and will result in the bus system being a critical part of our integrated public transport plan – the Bee Network. The Bus Franchising Programme Director will lead this programme.
The implementation of bus franchising in Greater Manchester is a programme of significant size, change and complexity, being the first programme to re-regulate a bus network of this scale globally. It involves a transitional phase, during which, and before it is completed, part of Greater Manchester’s bus network will be franchised and part de-regulated.
It is a complex and multi-faceted programme with a number of risks and dependencies and a wide range of stakeholders who will be directly impacted including bus passengers in Greater Manchester and the bus operator market. However, there are also significant opportunities for improving the lives of people across Greater Manchester by providing them with a seamless and integrated public transport network.
Our new Bus Franchising Programme Director will lead, shape and deliver bus franchising across our 10 Local Authority areas, starting in Bolton and Wigan by 2023, with the intention to complete this radical transformation across Greater Manchester by 2025. They will combine extensive complex, multi-faceted programme leadership with strong commercial acumen and experience; and a clear track record of delivering results and outcomes, combined with a significant understanding of franchising, ideally backed by successful experience within the transport or closely related sectors.
With the capacity to lead the franchising programme, working with a very diverse range of senior partners, politicians, commercial providers, central and local government and local communities, you’ll establish and deliver a clear programme to take us to implementation of our new model and beyond. You’ll need drive, resilience, patience, clarity, judgement and a clear eye on the outcomes. Potentially unheralded, you will bring about a step-change across Greater Manchester for generations to come.