On Saturday, I watched as Andy Burnham stormed to a second term as Mayor of Greater Manchester. He won with a stunning 67.3% share of the vote (up from 63% in 2017) and now has an extraordinary mandate to lead Greater Manchester.

As the chair of Andy’s campaign, I was naturally ecstatic with the result, but I was also excited about what Andy’s second term as Mayor could mean for the people of Tameside.

I have written extensively about the transport revolution that is required in Tameside (and indeed across Greater Manchester). I know that myself and Andy share a common goal in creating a transport network that works for everyone in Tameside.

In March, Andy announced that Greater Manchester would take control of its bus network again. This means Greater Manchester will become the first place outside of London to have a regulated bus system since the 1980s. We’ll have control of fares, timetables and routes, and residents will be able to hop on and hop off Manchester buses and know how much their tickets will cost. The aim is to have a London-style transport system over bus and tram by May 2024.

But this plan is only the beginning. As we come out of lockdown, it is vital that we focus on providing a transport network that is both sustainable and practical.

I have called for greater connectivity on our railways, and I am pleased that Tameside Council is bidding for funding in the region of £40 Million to transform the town centres and transport infrastructure in Ashton-under-Lyne and Stalybridge. I have spoken before about the scope for a Metrolink tram-train line between Stalybridge and Manchester Airport, and am keeping my fingers firmly crossed that this bid succeeds.

Furthermore, the Bee network scheme is coming to Tameside – and is anticipated to provide a 1,800-mile network of walking and cycling routes across Greater Manchester once it has been completed. This scheme will create walking and cycling routes across Tameside and will cut air pollution and tackle congestion.

I truly believe that these transport schemes, plus a Mayor that fights tooth and nail for Greater Manchester, will make a real difference to the lives of the people of Tameside. Let’s get moving and start the transport revolution!

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Town Hall, Market Street, Denton, M34 2AP

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