Quality Partnership Scheme set for TfGM network

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Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is set to deliver a £122m bus priority package, one of the most significant investments in Greater Manchester’s bus network in decades.

The package will improve bus service quality on key corridors linking Leigh, Atherton, Salford, Middleton and East Didsbury with Manchester.

The bus operators involved and other stakeholders are being asked for their opinions on plans to ensure that passengers have the highest quality of service once the bus priority package has been delivered.

A Quality Partnership Scheme (QPS) has been proposed, committing bus operators to a minimum level of quality and service standard, and ensuring TfGM and local authority partners to maintain the quality of the infrastructure on which those services will run.An eight-week consultation period on the proposed partnership started on May 14 and provides bus operators and other stakeholders, including passengers, the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

The QPS is one of the largest ever undertaken in the UK. It will span four local authorities and cover approximately 50 bus routes operating along the three principal corridors which join up in Manchester city centre.

If the consultation is successful, the QPS is set to be introduced once the majority of the bus priority infrastructure has been delivered.

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chairman of the TfGM Committee, said: “The QPS complements the bus priority package and in doing so guarantees a high quality of service for passengers.

“The partnership will lock in quality standards on the main routes operating along the QPS corridors. It will mean high standards of service delivery and commits bus operators to high quality vehicle standards.

“We have committed to passengers by investing public money in the infrastructure and we are pledging to maintain the quality of that in future in return for a similar promise from operators about the quality and standard of service they will provide.”

The bus priority package, including the changes to Oxford Road, is due to be completed in 2016, subject to confirmation of final approvals.

Routes to be covered by the QPS include:

  • A580 East Lancashire Road / A6 Chapel Street (Ellenbrook to Manchester city centre), including A577 Tyldesley Road (Atherton to Tyldesley) and A572 Spinning Jenny Way (Leigh Bus Station to guided busway);
  • A664 Rochdale Road / Manchester New Road (Middleton to Manchester city centre); and
  • Oxford Road / Wilmslow Road (East Didsbury to Manchester city centre).