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Boost given to new rapid bus scheme proposals

Working to continue improving public transport links.

The vision of creating a new rapid transit bus scheme between Stockport and Manchester Airport moved a step closer, as the funding to further develop the proposals has been secured from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Working in partnership, Stockport Council, Cheshire East Council, Manchester City Council, Manchester Airport Group, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority have a shared vision to create a new fast and frequent rapid bus service for residents and businesses between their homes and key employment locations.

Improving connectivity by public transport between Stockport and Manchester Airport, the proposed service would use current and new links to provide a reliable alternative to car travel for commuters, helping reduce congestion on our roads, whilst also improving our air quality.

Within the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund are monies to support the delivery of major transport projects that tackle key challenges. Working together, Stockport Council and its partners submitted a joint first stage bid and have been successfully awarded funding and support to develop proposals for the project further.

Over the coming months, we will work with the Government to develop a full business case for the rapid transit service, including all of the benefits this will create for residents and businesses. This will be submitted to Government this autumn ahead of a decision being made about which of the 44 bidding projects will be granted funding.

Caroline Simpson, Corporate Director for Place at Stockport Council, said: “The delivery of rapid transit bus in Stockport is just one element of the wider programme of investment in the borough’s transport infrastructure, which is vital to address congestion on our roads, improve local air quality, and strengthen Stockport’s position as a great place to live, work and invest.

“This announcement by the Government is good news, and we will continue to work closely with our neighbours in Cheshire East and Manchester to push forward with the proposals.”

Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said “We have worked closely with Stockport on this bid and its success demonstrates the importance of cross-boundary working.

“We are very pleased that our bid has had success in the first round. The proposals have the potential to deliver public transport improvements in the north of the borough, especially in the Wilmslow/Handforth area and our links to the airport.

“We will look to make sure that new developments, such as the garden village at Handforth will be integrated into these proposals, maximising the opportunities for sustainable travel.

“The council will continue to work closely with our neighbouring authorities as these proposals develop.”