Transport and Travel

Our transport and travel priorities

  1. Increasing use of public transport and active travel modes
  2. Phasing out of fossil-fuelled private vehicles and replacing them with zero emission (tailpipe) alternatives
  3. Tackling the most polluting vehicles on our roads
  4. Establishing a zero emissions bus fleet
  5. Decarbonising freight transport and shifting freight to rail and water transport

What we are doing 

Bee Network

The Bee Network is our vision for an integrated London-style transport system which will join buses, trams, cycling and walking by 2024, with rail incorporated by 2030, transforming how people travel in Greater Manchester.

Our hope is that designing and delivering public transport as one system with local control and accountability, will deliver an inclusive transport experience. Accessible, affordable and easy to use, with a daily fare cap and single multi-modal ticket, the Bee Network will support seamless end-to-end journeys. 

As part of this plan, we are delivering the UK’s largest cycling and walking network. We’re connecting up every area and community in Greater Manchester, making it easy, safe and attractive for people to travel on foot or by bike for everyday trips.

The aim is to make the region a nicer place to live, work, get on and grow old and to connect every neighbourhood and community, while helping people be less dependent on cars. In doing so it should help tackle societal problems that Greater Manchester shares with the rest of the country - an obesity epidemic, air quality issues and streets that are often clogged with motor traffic during peak hours.

For more information visit TfGM website (opens in a new tab)

Bus franchising

Buses are vital to reducing the number of cars on the roads of Greater Manchester, but bus use is falling.

Currently in Greater Manchester, individual bus companies decide their own routes, timetables, tickets and standards. In areas they don’t run, the public sector pays to fill in the gaps in the market where it can. Bus services can be improved and Greater Manchester now has a chance to do buses differently.

We are proposing a franchising scheme for the whole of Greater Manchester. This would mean that bus services would be under Greater Manchester’s control and they would decide which services would be provided - like the way buses are run in London and some other major cities around the world. GMCA would set the routes, timetables, tickets and standards, while the bus operators would run the services. This would allow buses to work better with the rest of our public transport – as part of the TfGM network (opens in a new tab) – Greater Manchester’s vision for a joined-up transport system.

A consultation on the proposed franchising scheme was held between Monday 14 October 2019 and Wednesday 8 January 2020.

Results of the consultation

Clean Air Plan

Like many areas across the country, Greater Manchester has illegal levels of air pollution on local roads across all ten local authority areas. Poor air quality affects everyone’s health, particularly the most vulnerable people in society. It contributes to nearly 1,200 premature deaths in Greater Manchester every year.

Under government direction, the Greater Manchester local authorities worked together to produce a Clean Air Plan to tackle harmful air pollution, including a GM-wide category C charging Clean Air Zone. Government has agreed that the Greater Manchester charging Clean Air Zone will not go ahead as planned on 30 May 2022.

That’s because the Clean Air Zone was designed to comply with a legal direction from government issued before the coronavirus pandemic. Since then there have been significant changes in the market for vehicles compliant with Clean Air Zone standards, particularly vans, and the cost of living has increased. We're committed to cleaning up the air our residents breathe – but in a way that helps people to make the change to cleaner vehicles and does not put jobs, livelihoods and businesses at risk.

Government has now agreed to lift the legal direction that Greater Manchester should achieve compliance with legal NO₂ limits by 2024. It has issued a new direction for compliance in the shortest possible time and by no later than 2026. Greater Manchester is now working with government to deliver a new Clean Air Plan for Greater Manchester by July 2022

You can keep up to date on developments with the Clean Air Plan and sign up for updates on the Clean Air GM website (opens in a new tab)

The Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040

Transport in Greater Manchester is changing. Our vision is for: “World class connections that support long-term, sustainable economic growth and access to opportunity for all.”

To achieve this, we have an ambitious plan to establish a fully integrated, high capacity transport system across Greater Manchester.

Transport for Greater Manchester has developed the Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 on behalf of the GMCA and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.

It sets out long-term proposals to create a cleaner, greener, more prosperous city region through better connections and simpler travel.

2040 Transport Strategy (opens in a new tab)