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Cleaner, Greener, Safer, Fairer: 10 ways for Greater Manchester’s new mayor to transform travel

We believe that walking, cycling and public transport have a key role to play in tackling the challenges of post-pandemic recovery and our environmental crisis, and that this is a top priority in Greater Manchester’s May elections.

We’ve teamed up with a range of other organisations* to create a manifesto for what the new mayor needs to do to create a greener, cleaner, safer, fairer, way for people to move about the region.

We are also holding a joint hustings on sustainable transport on Thursday 22 April, 5.30pm. You can sign up here, and (deadline Saturday 17th April).

(Please note the new time of 5.30pm: the event was originally advertised as 6.30pm but has been moved earlier at a candidate’s request with agreement of the other candidates).


*organisations in the coalition who worked on this include Living Streets, Friends of the Earth, Unison Manchester, Ramblers, Action Vision Zero, Vision Zero Youth Council and Cycling UK.






A manifesto for getting about in Greater Manchester



1. Enable journeys without cars

Make our communities places where cars are optional and walking, cycling and public transport is easy, safe & enjoyable. Take an Active Neighbourhood approach in every community immediately by embedding in planning & housing policies. Commit to 75% of all short journeys (2km or less) and 50% of 2-5km trips to be walked or cycled by 2025, and further develop monitoring to report progress.


2. Clean air & green space

Introduce low-emission zones, reduce parking & reallocate space to people, ban engine idling, increase controlled parking & prepare for road pricing. Set annual targets for reducing vehicle trips. In urban centres, end through traffic (access/disabled drivers only) & bring in workplace parking levies. Shift to e-van and e-bike deliveries and pilot an e-cargo hub by 2025. Create more public green space, green streets & active corridors.


3. Give children a choice

Create a schools fund to pay for a programme of permanent ‘school streets’ & related improvements, including funding for walking & cycling behaviour change initiatives and community-led training, events, bikes and storage – to enable pupils to walk, cycle, or wheel safely to school at 1000+ primary & 250+ secondary schools by 2025.


4. Make it easy to walk and cycle

Fully fund , expand & implement the Bee Network so people don’t have to drive short trips. Commit to 2000+ miles of high-quality walking & cycling infrastructure by 2030, with annual targets for each borough that meet accessible standards. Create a neighbourhood cycle storage fund. Remove all inaccessible barriers and guard rails.



5. Take a people first approach

Implement policies which put pedestrians & disabled people at the top of the hierarchy of users e.g. count people not vehicles, and optimise design for them. Implement a crossings audit and upgrade plan, make signal crossings single stage & minimise waiting, roll out side-road crossings. Stop pavement parking & clutter. Develop Rights of Way improvement plan.



6. Zero deaths on our roads

Sign up to Vision Zero & set target of zero road deaths or serious injuries in GM by 2040. Adopt 20mph as default limit in built-up areas & create safe urban centres & high streets. Prioritise enforcement against offences that pose greatest harm to others: speeding, careless driving, mobile phone use & uninsured vehicles. Treat road crime as real crime.



7. Give buses and trams a better ride 

By 2030 commit to: Making franchised network a success by adding 1000 miles of new or improved 24/7 bus lanes, including more guided routes; upgrading & diversifying fleet so all vehicles run on renewable energy; make more affordable by expanding concessions & capping fares. Enhance & extend tram network with new routes & plans for further growth.



8. Improve trains and cap air travel

Campaign for funding & powers to oversee local, suburban & regional services inside GM in order to speed up journey times & frequency. Expand rail network including new stations. Make all stations fully accessible. Push GM leaders to review business plan for Manchester Airport & bring in line with GM’s 2038 carbon-zero commitment.



9. Create an integrated network

Make an integrated, sustainable transport network in which safe walking & cycling are embedded, an immediate & ongoing ‘top 3’ priority. Enable ‘trip hopping’ from foot, bike, bus, tram & train through single ticketing with daily & weekly fare caps, allowing bikes on trams & tram-trains & developing good walking & cycling routes between transport hubs. Enable more e-car sharing & develop a cohesive e-charging network on road not footways.



10. Tighten up and open out

Review & refresh all structures, roles & governance to align with delivering an ‘integrated, sustainable network’ and related targets – including pushing for control of commuter rail & key roads inside GM, & taking up powers to enforce moving traffic offences locally. Ensure meaningful engagement with communities and that people are more fully represented in decision-making. Create cross-sector advisory panel alongside TfGM, & in each borough.


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