Network Rail and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have announced a new partnership to deliver a joint vision for Manchester and Salford’s central railway stations.
The collaboration agreement, which is the first of its kind between the two organisations, is a major step forward in bringing together both land and infrastructure to create a better-connected Greater Manchester.
Network Rail and TfGM, working together with key stakeholders, will establish future regeneration opportunities at Greater Manchester stations and attract partners for delivery of future projects.
Manchester is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the UK. The total population of Greater Manchester is predicted to grow to around 2,950,000 by 2031, with the City of Manchester alone accounting for 36% of the growth.
Network Rail owns over 90 stations in Greater Manchester and more than 5.6 million journeys are made across TfGM’s transport network each day. The partnership will focus on transport upgrades and supporting regeneration that will allow the two cities to meet the demands of future population growth and further support the regional economy.
Over the next 12 months, the two organisations, key stakeholders and future partners will work on proposals across six stations: Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, Manchester Oxford Road, Deansgate, Salford Central and Salford Crescent.
Through the new Trailblazer Deal struck with the government, there is a huge opportunity for Greater Manchester to deliver the Bee Network, its vision for a fully integrated public transport system, with the ambition for full integration of local rail services by 2030. This partnership will play a part in helping with its future delivery.
As city centres are changing in a post-Covid landscape, rail stations provide significant opportunities for growth and regeneration by improving space to better connect them with the people and places they are designed to serve.
The two organisations, alongside future partners and supporters, will commit to the following shared key goals:
- Integrated transport system: Deliver a modern, integrated transport system. This will attract customers and provide a service which encourages people to use public transport first and reduce reliance on cars
- Development around stations: Take a joined-up approach to securing additional funding and maximising commercial development opportunities around the stations and assets. This will increase the attractiveness of development opportunities by looking at them in a comprehensive way
- Placemaking: Consider each station within the community, heritage, and cultural context to ensure wider social value is delivered. Creating a joined-up strategy for all the stations and an overarching vision which supports an integrated transport system
- Towards Net Zero Carbon: Ensure Climate Change and the journey to Net Zero is a key focus and is a priority for strategic decisions to support the stations
- Access for all: Improve accessibility for inside and around the stations and deliver ease of movement between the stations and the wider city
Peter Hendy, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill CBE, Chair of Network Rail said: “This is a landmark moment for Manchester and Salford, to see our two organisations build a partnership team to make the best of our resources and expertise. Working jointly with the Local Authorities we are putting passengers and rail services at the forefront of infrastructure investment and wider neighbourhood improvements.”
Vernon Everitt, Transport Commissioner for Greater Manchester, added: “The ever-changing skylines across Salford and Manchester city centres reflect the extent to which Greater Manchester is growing.
“As we deliver our Bee Network plans for a truly integrated network, it is vital our rail stations – and surrounding areas – evolve to meet these demands, and this new partnership signifies our joint commitment alongside Manchester and Salford districts to delivering a modernised railway that puts passengers and local communities at its heart.”