Manchester’s mayor pushes for local control

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No. 399201 passes through the heavy rail platforms at Rotherham Central on March 7 with a service towards Sheffield Cathedral.
No. 399201 passes through the heavy rail platforms at Rotherham Central on March 7 with a service towards Sheffield Cathedral. Photo: Paul Bickerdyke

Tram-train routes proposed as Burnham calls for London-style control over local railways.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is pressing for more local control of rail and bus services so that a greater integration of public transport can be achieved.

For rail, continuing dissatisfaction with the performance of the Northern franchise has brought a demand for local routes to be transferred to the mayor’s direct control, which would be similar to the situation in London.  

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New tram-train routes have been proposed as extensions to the Metrolink light rail system, allowing services to access destinations reached by heavy rail lines.

These are between Oldham and Heywood (East Lancs Railway), a link from Altrincham to Hale, and through-running from Manchester Airport to Wilmslow via Styal.

The transfer of local heavy rail routes is problematic, however, as the Northern Rail Partnership has been created on behalf of Transport for the North and the Department for Transport to manage the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises, which operate over distances a long way from the boundaries of Greater Manchester.

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Read more in the August issue of Rail Express – on sale now!

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About the Author

Nigel Devereux

Let off some steam...