Manchester transport and regeneration
Manchester has undergone a considerable regeneration process over the last 25 years. Since the IRA attack in 1996 struck the heart of Manchester’s commercial the city has undergone a change like no other. Two major railway stations, an airport on the outskirts the city. The City had the foundation to develop. If you look at Manchester today it is fairly unrecognisable from the 1990’s.
The skyline of Manchester, now dominated by Tower blocks and cranes. Manchester no longer looks like an industrial city. As old gives way to new. Manchester transport initiatives continue to sit at the heart of this development. Integrated transport across the City and beyond. Across the UK and Internationally.
Manchester transport : Ringway airport
How many of us reading this remember Manchester international airport as Ringway. Now it is Manchester International Airport and operates from two runways and three terminals. Owned by Manchester Airport Holdings Limited, trading as MAG. The holding company, owned by the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester alongside IFM Investors. This gives the borough council decision making over the way the airport operates. This ownership allows the airport to streamline it’s development alongside other Manchester investment opportunities. A pathway to regeneration and streamlined transport services. Regional and National links to the airport built into the development. The Metrolink serving the local people of Manchester and Manchester airport.
HS2 : High speed rail to London
HS2 is controversial. With the Northern Powerhouse arguing for northern infrastructure lines ahead of the links to the south. There are few projects that have raised such controversy. Manchester has two large railway stations, Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly. Manchester Airport has it’s own Railway terminal. All terminals linked to Media City. Highlighting the integrated rail infrastructure serving Manchester and beyond.
HS2’s scaling means shorter journey times at a much reduced cost. Linking Manchester to London via a combination of new high speed lines and electrification of existing lines interspersed between the lines.
The Northern Powerhouse wanted links from East to West. HS2 will not offer this under the latest proposal. Instead focussed on a North-South infrastructure.
Manchester is pushing hard for an integrated local transport system. Adjusting the way public transport works. Operating buses, trams and electric bikes. Manchester’s previous MoBike scheme did not go to plan.
Mobikes came to Manchester under a fanfair. Leaving a year later, citing crime and vandalism. At one point they laid on a regular truck to collect bikes from the river Irwell. This scheme replaced with a more joined up and crucially managed service. The Bee Network. Designed to deliver the UK’s largest cycling and walking network. Working in conjunction with Public transport buses and trams the aim is to bring choice to how people get around Manchester.
We have touched on Media City and the growth that this area has undergone. The development of Media City was a great coup for the city. Manchester and Salford developed a network infrastructure to support it. Giving those moving into the region an inclusive home-work space which was directly linked to the nightlife and amenities that Manchester had to offer. Metrolink Tran and public transport links to the rest of the country and the world via rail and air means easy access to a thriving part of Manchester. Manchester has issues like any major City.
The failure of MoBike in Manchester due to crime and vandalism shows a picture away from the glossy brochures. The work Manchester is doing to reduce and help the homeless and the popularity of foodbanks highlight the disparity between rich and poor within the City. Charities, the Mayor of Manchester and the borough councils continue to work on strategies to level up across the city. Crime in Manchester has always been an issue. It has managed to shake off it’s tag of Gunchester from the 1980’s and 90’s. Crime and violence remain high. The ABEN‘s initiative and charities like Coffee4craig and lifeshare work hard to promote a positive impact.
An integrated Manchester transport policy which incorporates all public transport with the addition of a Borough Council owned airport authority should see Manchester continue to grow as a major destination for years to come. Attracting more investment to the North-West of the UK. Allowing manufacturers and importers to have a local global gateway to trade. 25 years is a long time. What will the next 25 years bring?.
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