News Releases

Stagecoach welcomes government funding for Greater Manchester transport strategy

09 Jun 2008

Stagecoach today (9 June 2008) welcomed the Government’s announcement of a multi-million-pound funding package to support Greater Manchester’s transport strategy over the next 10 years.

The Department for Transport has approved a package of around £3 billion from the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) for Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority to extend the Metrolink tram system, increase capacity on the region’s local rail services, and extend the coverage and capacity of the bus network.

Stagecoach operates around 690 buses in South Manchester, investing £21m in new vehicles in the city in the past two years, and the Group is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Metrolink system.

Brian Souter, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, said: “We are fully behind Greater Manchester’s vision for a high-quality, integrated public transport network for the region and this funding package provides a real opportunity to transform services for the benefit of millions of people.

“We believe the right package of partnership measures is being put together, including more bus priority, a network of park and ride services, improved local bus networks, and Kickstart pump-priming initiatives, which are crucial in giving motorists a real and attractive alternative to the car.

“Stagecoach is committed to supporting Greater Manchester’s strategy with further investment in even better bus services and we look forward to continuing to work closely with GMPTE on their detailed plans to get more people on board public transport.”

Last year, Stagecoach announced a massive £15 million investment in a fleet of new green buses as part of its endorsement of the TIF bid and more than 100 new vehicles have since gone into service.

Stagecoach has already seen the number of full fare paying bus passengers on its services increase by more than 30% in the past 10 years. The new vehicles will provide additional capacity on main routes into Manchester city centre to cope with an expected further rise in bus use in the city.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Steve Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications,
Stagecoach Group
Tel: 01738 442111 or mobile 07764 774680
email: steven.stewart@stagecoachgroup.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, United States and Canada. The company employs around 30,000 people, and operates bus, coach, rail, and tram services.

Stagecoach Manchester operates around 690 buses in South Manchester, including Trafford, Stockport, Tameside and Glossop. The company employs around 1,700 staff.

Stagecoach carried 87 million passengers in Manchester between May 2007 and April 2008, an increase of 3.5% on the previous year.

Last year, the Greater Manchester Bus Operators Association, of which Stagecoach is a key member, unveiled a package of proposals for the region’s bus network. The Moving Greater Manchester Forward strategy was one of the key initiatives that formed the basis for the development of the TIF Bus Partnership, which is ground breaking in its scale and ambition. Network development, social inclusion, reliability improvements, safety and security and improved vehicle standards, issues of infrastructure and bus priority measures, together with fares and easy to understand multi-operator/modal ticketing are all incorporated in the partnership plans.

Stagecoach is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of the 37km Manchester Metrolink tram network. The 10-year contract with Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive includes managing a number of special projects sponsored by GMPTE to improve the trams and infrastructure to benefit passengers. Stagecoach Metrolink will also be responsible for operating tram services on the new Metrolink lines to Oldham, Rochdale, Droylsden and Chorlton.