Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester

Map showing Greater Manchester, the authority's area of responsibility
Abbreviation TfGM
Formation 1 April 1969
Type Public body
Purpose Transport authority
Headquarters Manchester
Region served
Greater Manchester
parts of Derbyshire, Cheshire & Lancashire
Chief Executive
Jon Lamonte
Parent organisation
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
£280 million (2015-16, excluding capital expenditure)

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the public body responsible for co-ordinating transport services throughout Greater Manchester, in North West England. The organisation traces its origins to the Transport Act 1968, when the SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive was established to co-ordinate public transport in and around Manchester. Between 1974 and 2011, this body was known as the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE), until a reformation of local government arrangements in Greater Manchester granted the body more powers and prompted a corporate rebranding.[1] The strategies and policies of Transport for Greater Manchester are set by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.

Transport for Greater Manchester is responsible for investments in improving transport services and facilities. It is the executive arm of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority between 1974 and 2011) which funds and makes policies for TfGM. The authority is made up of 33 councillors appointed from the ten Greater Manchester districts (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).


Infrastructure and services owned and/or operated by TfGM include:



GMPTE was originally formed in 1969 as SELNEC PTE, by the Transport Act 1968
A preserved SELNEC-branded Leyland Atlantean bus at the Manchester Museum of Transport in October 2008

To comply with the Transport Act 1968, on 1 April 1969 the SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive was formed. SELNEC stood for South East Lancashire North East Cheshire, a joint authority of the various local councils.

Prior to this the conurbation surrounding Manchester was divided between the two administrative counties of Lancashire and Cheshire and a number of county boroughs (e.g. Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Bolton). The South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire Passenger Transport Area was defined as:

(a) the county boroughs of the Cities of Manchester and Salford, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Stockport;
(b) so much of the administrative county of the County Palatine of Chester as is comprised in the following county districts or parts of such districts, that is to say
(i) the boroughs of Altrincham, Dukinfield, Hyde, Sale and Stalybridge;
(ii) the urban districts of Alderley Edge, Bowdon, Bredbury and Romiley, Cheadle and Gatley, Hale, Hazel Grove and Bramhall, Longdendale, Marple and Wilmslow;
(iii) the rural districts of Disley and Tintwistle;
(iv) so much of the rural district of Bucklow as is comprised in the following parishes: Carrington, Partington and Ringway;
(v) so much of the rural district of Macclesfield as is comprised in the parish of Poynton-with-Worth;
(c) so much of the administrative county of Derby as is comprised in the borough of Glossop;
(d) so much of the administrative county of the County Palatine of Lancaster as is comprised in the following county districts, that is to say
(i) the boroughs of Ashton-under-Lyne, Eccles, Farnworth, Heywood, Leigh, Middleton, Mossley, Prestwich, Radcliffe, Stretford and Swinton and Pendlebury;
(ii) the urban districts of Atherton, Audenshaw, Chadderton, Crompton, Denton, Droylsden, Failsworth, Horwich, Irlam, Kearsley, Lees, Littleborough, Little Lever, Milnrow, Ramsbottom, Royton, Tottington, Turton, Tyldesley, Urmston, Wardle, Westhoughton, Whitefield, Whitworth and Worsley;
(e) so much of the administrative county of the West Riding of Yorkshire as is comprised in the urban district of Saddleworth.[7]

From 1 November 1969, the PTE took over the bus fleets of 11 municipalities, and operationally, the organisation was split into three divisional areas, Northern, Central, and Southern:




SELNEC branded its fleet with its corporate orange and white livery and the 'S' logo. The 'S' logo was coloured differently in each division: magenta for Northern,blue for Central and green for Southern. For corporate operations, the parcel operations (inherited from Manchester), and the coaching fleet, the 'S' logo was in orange

In the early 1970s, SELNEC began to promote a project to construct an underground railway beneath central Manchester, the Picc-Vic tunnel. The scheme aimed to link the two main railway stations, Piccadilly and Victoria with a tunnel.[9] The project was eventually cancelled on grounds of cost.

On 1 January 1972, SELNEC PTE acquired National Bus Company's North Western Road Car subsidiary with buses, services and depots in Altrincham, Glossop, Oldham, Stockport and Urmston.[10][11][12] The corporate orange and white livery was applied, with the 'S' logo in brown and the name "Cheshire". (Most of the NWRCC operations bought by SELNEC were in the old county of Cheshire).

Greater Manchester PTE

The original Greater Manchester Transport double 'M' logo from 1974
A GMPTE bus stop in 2006 displaying the double 'M' logo
A TfGM bus stop in 2011 following rebranding

When the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974 the executive was renamed GMPTE, with the county council replacing the joint transport authority. The public branding applied to buses and signage used the shorter name Greater Manchester Transport, displayed in upper and lower case helvetica letters next to a distinctive orange double 'M' logo. The logo, first seen around 1974, is still in use today on bus stops and transport information literature, but is being gradually replaced on the former across Greater Manchester by rebranded bus stop flags displaying the new TfGM logo.

The GMPTE logo in use until March 2011

The PTE also acquired the bus operations of Wigan Corporation with 130 vehicles. Further expansion saw the acquisition of Warburton's Coaches in November 1975 and Lancashire United Transport and Godfrey Abbot in January 1976.

Following the abolition of the Greater Manchester County Council in 1986, a new Passenger Transport Authority was created to administer the GMPTE, made up of councillors from the Greater Manchester district councils. In the same year, deregulation of the bus market saw bus operations transferred to a stand-alone arms length operated company, GM Buses which was later privatised.

In February 2011, the Daily Telegraph reported that David Leather, chief executive of the Passenger Transport Executive, was being paid £45,000 a month, and Bob Morris, interim chief operating officer, was getting a six-figure salary. Because they were seconded staff, rather than being employees, they were supposedly not covered by the government demand that the pay of any public-sector employee earning more than the Prime Minister should be disclosed.[13]


To add to printed material and logos etched in glass on the side of bus shelters, GMPTE began a programme of adding their 'double M' logo to 101 railway station nameboards, train rolling stock livery, bus sides and some 'totem' pole signs outside rail stations in the area during the 1990s. This idea was later extended to a full re-design of the bus stop flag in 2000, (used first on primary bus routes, now extended to the entire GMPTE area) resulting in a unified corporate appearance containing the 'double M' logo on bus, train and tram stops.

Transport Innovation Fund

GMPTE and the GMPTA worked with the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities to produce a bid for monies from the Transport Innovation Fund. Within the bid were proposals to introduce Congestion charging in Greater Manchester. They claimed the Greater Manchester Transport Innovation Fund would have significantly improve public transport in the area funded by charging motorists entering the city at peak times. A consultation document was sent out to residents during July 2008. In December 2008, a local referendum voted no to the proposals.

TfGM is developing an ITSO compliant smartcard known as Get me there.

Deregulation and privatisation of bus services

In order to prepare for bus deregulation, the PTE's bus operations passed to Greater Manchester Buses Limited (trading as GM Buses) in October 1986. The company was owned at "arm's length" by the PTE, and had to compete in the deregulated market. In preparation for privatisation, the company was split into GM Buses North and GM Buses South on 31 December 1993. Both companies were sold to their managements on 31 March 1994, and sold on to major groups in 1996: GM Buses South to Stagecoach in February, GM Buses North to FirstBus in March.

Transport for Greater Manchester

On 1 April 2011, the GMPTE became Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM),[14] a new regional transport body for Greater Manchester[15][16][17] that forms part of the new Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). As a result, GMITA was abolished,[14] replaced by the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (TfGMC) which ultimately reports to the Combined Authority. TfGMC and its subcommittees are made up of a nominated pool of 33 councillors from the ten metropolitan boroughs of Greater Manchester who manage TfGM and create transport policy in Greater Manchester.

Although it differs in certain structural forms,[18] on the day of its inauguration TfGM became the second most powerful and influential transport organisation in England after Transport for London because it unites previously splintered governance over transport policy in the boroughs under one body.[19][20] It elects its own Chair and Vice-Chair and assumes the functions previously performed by GMITA as well as the newly devolved transport powers and responsibilities from Government and the 10 Metropolitan Councils which make up the area. The 33 councillors have voting rights on most transport issues despite not being members of the GMCA: major decisions still require approval by the GMCA, but the functions that are referred (but not delegated) to the TfGMC include making recommendations in relation to:

In addition, two functions are delegated solely to the TfGMC without requiring GMCA approval, namely road safety under Section 39, Road Traffic Act 1988 and traffic management under Sections 16–17, Traffic Management Act 2004.

See also


  1. All change: Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive becomes Transport for Greater Manchester – with a new logo of course Manchester Evening News 1 April 2011
  2. RATP buys Manchester Metrolink operator Railway Gazette International 2 August 2011
  3. Light Rail and Tram Statistics: England 2013/14 Department for Transport 29 June 2014
  4. Metroshuttle Transport for Greater Manchester
  5. Operators Transport for Greater Manchester
  6. Bus Operators Transport for Greater Manchester
  7. The South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire Passenger Transport Area (Designation) Order 1969 (1969 No. 95)
  8. Booth, Gavin; Stewart J Brown (1984). The bus book: (everything you wanted to know about buses but were afraid to ask). London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1440-X.
  9. SELNEC PTE (October 1971). "SELNEC Picc-Vic Line". SELNEC PTE. publicity brochure
  10. Stenning, Ray (1979). A National Bus Company album. Wiveliscombe: Viewfinder. ISBN 0-906051-03-7.
  11. SELNEC bid foe reluctant North Western's bus services Commercial Motor 3 December 1971
  12. SELNEC's price Commercial Motor 17 March 1972
  13. Watt, Holly (28 February 2011). "The city transport chief earning £540,000 a year". The Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group.
  14. 1 2 "Arrangements for Establishing the Combined Authority" (PDF). Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). p. 4. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  15. "Draft LTP3 Consultation Proposals". Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA). p. 9. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  16. "City Region Pilot and Governance" (PDF). Manchester City Council. p. 14. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  17. "Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership – A Proposal To Government" (PDF). Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). p. 18. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  18. "City Region Pilot and Governance" (PDF). Manchester City Council. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  19. "City Region Governance – Consultation on Future Arrangements for Greater Manchester" (PDF). Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  20. "Review of City Region Governance in Greater Manchester" (Word). Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
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