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There are a number of different transport leaders in Manchester such as GMPTE (Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive), Manchester City Council, Stagecoach Manchester, Manchester Airport and The Metrolink all of whom are encouraging the use of public transport in Manchester. Here, we have a brief background of each of the leaders and further on we have evaluated the actions they plan to take in the future, the plans they have taken so far and whether they have been successful or not. In addition to this we also look at the challenges and barriers the leaders face in achieving their goals.
Stagecoach Manchester is a large and popular provider of bus services in Greater Manchester and is the largest contributor of the Stagecoach group providing transport to over 87million people a year.
"Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is the UK's largest domestically-owned airport operator, with four airports - Manchester, East Midlands, Bournemouth and Humberside - serving almost 24million" http://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/manweb.nsf/content/aboutus
This is just a little background information about the leaders
"Greater Manchester's Metrolink network is one of the most successful light rail systems in the UK, carrying nearly 20 million passengers every year." http://www.metrolink.co.uk/#
Manchester City Council is the local authority for Manchester, a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom. It is made up of 96 councillors, three for each of the 32 wards. Currently the council is controlled by the Labour Party and is led by Sir Richard Leese. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_City_Council
The Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) is the public body whose job is to co-ordinate public transport services throughout Greater Manchester in North West England. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Manchester_Passenger_Transport_Executive
What they have done
Stagecoach - In 2009, Stagecoach Manchester invested £5.7 million in new hybrid buses and in September 2010, the first of 30 of these hybrid buses came into service. These buses were designed to emit less carbon emissions, be more environmentally friendly and encourage the public to use buses more.
"Stagecoach Manchester is the city's first operator to begin the transformation into a more environmentally efficient bus and coach transport service."
Mark Threapleton, managing director of Stagecoach Manchester, said: "The new buses are part of Stagecoach Manchester's continuing investment into a greener, more environmentally friendly way of travelling, and the drive to get Manchester onboard with climate change. Buses already deliver a major carbon saving over using the car, and we hope that by investing in these state-of-the-art hybrid buses it will further highlight the company's commitment to the environment and tackling the problem of congestion, and will encourage more people to use buses as part of their travel plans."
"Public transport has a vital role to play in helping to reduce our carbon footprint. This announcement is excellent news, especially in light of the Authority's plans to introduce up to 66 diesel-electric hybrid buses, also part funded by the DfT's Green Bus Fund, onto the network. This includes 20 diesel-electric vehicles for Metroshuttle services in Manchester City Centre as well as 16
So far this has been successful as the hybrid buses produce 30% less carbon emission than a standard bus. Furthermore, the success is proven by the fact that Stagecoach plan to invest more than £4 million on more of the eco buses in other UK regions such as Newcastle and Sheffield in 2011.
Manchester Airport - Manchester Airports Group (MAG) consists of four airports- Manchester, East Midlands, Bournemouth and Humberside and in 2006 they revealed that they will be carbon neutral for 2015.
From 1st April 2008, they have been sourcing up to 30% of their electricity supply from renewable sources.
Additionally, Manchester Airport Developments Ltd (MADL), the property development arm of the business, is now asking designers at the briefing stage for projects to look at ways of generating their own power sources through ground source heat pumps, biomass, and solar energy or wind turbines. http://www.magworld.co.uk/magweb.nsf/All+Content/carbonneutral
On 1 May 2009, Manchester Airport announced their proposal to appoint partners at the airport in reducing the site's CO2 emissions. Associates from hotels to government departments were encouraged to take a Community Carbon Pledge. This requires them to measure their carbon footprint (total annual CO2 emissions) which gives evidence of good carbon management and demonstration a decrease in emissions. http://www.magworld.co.uk/sr2009/environment/climate/collaborating.html
HOWEVER - Manchester Friends of the Earth said the report fails to point out that, taking into account aircraft movements, the airport produces 'the same amount of CO2 as the whole of Uganda'.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/news/detail.php?art_id=4242
Metrolink - In July 2007, GMPTE became the first tram network in the UK where traction current is supplied entirely through green energy - specifically large scale hydro power.Â The decreased emissions ameliorate the system's environmental performance whilst at the same time fulfil their commitment to the public to seek value for money. The switch has reached the goals of raising awareness of the environmental benefits of using the Metrolink which in turn has given GMPTE supportive publicity. http://casestudies.pepesec.eu/archives/79
Cycling - Manchester City Council has invested in improving infrastructure for cyclists in order to encourage more Manchester residents to cycle. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/200102/walking_and_cycling/732/cycling_in_manchester/1
They are currently working towards establishing routes which will create a cycle network. Furthermore, they now have cycle parking in and around the centre.
In future, the new focal point will be local centres; money is available to persuade people to stay local as this could reduce the number of trips made by car. They intend to highlight key routes and expand them, for example by putting in toucan crossings where appropriate. http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Benchmarking/Manchester_Infrastructure-on_and_off_road_facilities.pdf
Greater Manchester also has a cycling campaign which is voluntarily run by a group who want more people to use bicycles for transport and leisure. They propose to achieve this by working to make it safer and easier to cycle Manchester.
They have been successful as below shows a list of achievements that have been made.
Helped to protect the Wilmslow Road corridor for cyclists, persuading Manchester City Council not to cut the plan.
Successfully won the right of continued access to the city centre where consultants planned to prohibit cycling
Provided ideas to many planning proposals to make the area more cycle friendly
Requested more parking in the city centre as well as at railway stations and in nearby towns
Represented members on cycle forums in Greater Manchester. This gives a direct link to councils, and increases their accountability.
Campaigned for the transformation of the former Fallowfield railway line into an East-West cycle route for South Manchester
Helped to make the Manchester Cycling Map
There is also a useful website - Cycle GM that gives advice and news and events for cycling in Manchester. http://www.cyclegm.org/local_areas/area.aspx?area=manchester
"Greater Manchester is responsible for emitting approximately 14 million tonnes of COÂ² each year of which about a third is related to transport."
GMPTE is planning on taking action to reduce its own carbon footprint and encourage public transport operators in Greater Manchester to reduce theirs. They feel that by integrating land use and making better transport decisions, the need to travel will decrease. "This will require leadership and an innovative approach to creating a low carbon transport network where public transport, cycling and walking are preferred to travelling by single-occupancy car."
No national or regional COÂ² emissions reduction goals specific to the transport sector exist. Nevertheless, the Climate Change act 2008 has set targets to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors including transport. The target for the UK is a reduction of 34% by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050 (both from 1990 levels). The goal is to balance the climate at an increase of no more than 2Â°C. The government has committed to gain five-year carbon budgets and will be presenting their progress on meeting the budgets through annual reports. The first budget will run from 2009 to 2014.
Overall, it is clear to see that all the different transport leaders are aware of the importance of reducing carbon emissions and have taken action to reach their targets. However, despite some of the success, many face challenges and there are barriers slowing down their progress. Next we have taken a look at some of these barriers and some possible solutions to how they can be overcome.