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Manchester progress

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon made a surprise visit to Manchester to announce a GBP1.4bn transport package to replace the Transport Innovation Fund plans which were killed off by last year’s resounding congestion charge No vote.

It will mean that all but one of the stalled Metrolink extensions — to Chorlton, Manchester Airport, and Rochdale and Oldham town centres — will now go ahead. Only the line through Trafford Park will remain on the drawing board.

The package, which could create 21,000 jobs, is to be financed by borrowing against small increases in council tax and the government bringing forward the Regional Fund Allocation. Greater Manchester’s 10 councils have agreed to hand over 40 per cent of the government money they receive individually for transport.

Further details will be included in our Manchester pages when they are next updated.

15 May 2009

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