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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:11 PM   #261
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An historic day!

Greater Manchester will receive devolved powers, and like London we'll get our own metropolitan-wide Mayor, with control over the GMCA (Greater Manchester Authority), transport, tax revenues, housebuilding, planning...etc etc.

Very exciting.

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Greater Manchester has today, Monday 3 November 2014, agreed an historic devolution settlement with Government.

The agreement, reached with the Chancellor who has called for a 'Northern Powerhouse' to maximise the economic potential of the north - and building on the work of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) established in 2011 - will give greater powers to the combined authority working in partnership with a directly-elected Mayor.

These will open up new opportunities for increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life of Greater Manchester residents by replacing an over-centralised national model – imposing ‘one size fits all’ solutions – with greater local control over certain budgets and powers.

For example, they will unlock huge public transport improvements and help tens of thousands of Greater Manchester residents into work.

Under the settlement, a directly-elected Mayor for Greater Manchester will be created.

Powers to be devolved to Greater Manchester include:

Transport
Responsibility for local transport, with government providing a longer-term budget to enable better planning and a more co-ordinated transport strategy. Subject to local consultation, there will also be franchising of bus services – in a similar model to London – with Greater Manchester controlling franchises, service routes and frequencies and fares. Greater Manchester will commit to introducing an Oyster card-style smart ticketing system which can be used across all modes of public transport across the region.

Planning
Devolved planning freedoms, including the power to create a statutory spatial strategy – in line with the framework already being developed by GMCA - which will guide investment and development across Greater Manchester .

Housing
Control of a new Housing Investment Fund of up to £300m which will deliver an additional 15,000 homes across Greater Manchester over a 10-year period.

Freedoms which can be devolved as soon as possible include:

Public Service Reform
-Helping people back into work
Greater Manchester’s public service reform programme, which goes hand in hand with promoting economic growth, aims to provide the intensive support that people and families trapped in a cycle of benefit dependency need to escape it – helping them while reducing public sector spending in the longer term. For example the city region’s Troubled Families programme has helped ‘turn around’ almost 5,500 families.

The devolution deal will enable Greater Manchester’s work to be scaled up to help up to 50,000 people back into work, supported by a combined budget of £100 million.

-Health and Social Care
Another element of public service reform is the need to integrate health and social care to reduce pressure on A&E departments and unnecessary hospital stays and provide better care closer to home.

The agreement will give GMCA, working with health organisations across Greater Manchester, control of existing health and social care budgets, which have been pooled by local authorities across Greater Manchester. The government will also invite GMCA and the region’s clinical commissioning groups to develop a plan for joined up health and social care.

Earn Back
Control of a revamped earn back deal, which allows GMCA to be paid by results as investment in infrastructure improvements (for example transport) results in economic growth. This allows Greater Manchester to be ‘paid back’ up to £30m a year over a 30 year period. Under the reformed deal, the complicated formula under which this was calculated will be scrapped to give more certainty and larger investment opportunities. This will enable the Metrolink extension to Trafford Park to go ahead.

Skills and Business support
The abilitity to influence further education provision in the city region by giving skills providers the financial incentive to match the supply of skills to the needs of local employers.

Responsibility for devolved business support budgets to ensure that Greater Manchester businesses get the right support, at the right time, to help them grow and innovate.

Governance arrangements
The elected Mayor will lead GMCA, chair its meetings and allocate responsibilities to its cabinet, made up of the leaders of each of Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities. The first Greater Manchester Mayoral elections are expected to take place in 2017.

The directly-elected Mayor will be responsible for the new powers in relation to transport, planning, housing and policing but will be required to consult the GMCA Cabinet on his/her strategies, which it may reject if two-thirds of members agree to do so. The statutory spatial framework will require approval by a unanimous vote of the Mayor’s Cabinet.

The existing Police and Crime Commissioner’s role will also be merged with the Greater Manchester Mayor’s role.

The creation of a directly-elected Greater Manchester Mayor will not happen overnight and further work is required on all the detailed implementation of these changes. New legislation is needed before transport and planning powers can be transferred and there will be a transitional arrangement of an appointed mayor who will assume some of the responsibilities of an elected mayor.

Lord Peter Smith, chair of GMCA, said: “Make no mistake, this devolution settlement is a momentous day for Greater Manchester. It gives us greater control over our own destiny in several key areas and the ability to base decisions on local priorities and needs rather than on ‘one size fits all’ dictates from Westminster.

“This isn’t about taking powers from individual Greater Manchester authorities. It’s about powers coming down from central government to a more localised level.”

Sir Richard Leese, vice chair of GMCA, said: “Greater Manchester has been in the vanguard of the national devolution debate. It was clear that an over-centralised national system was not delivering the best results for our people or our economy.

“We are extremely pleased that we can now demonstrate what a city region with greater freedoms can achieve and contribute further to the growth of the UK.

“Our ultimate ambition is for full devolution of all public spending in Greater Manchester, currently around £22 billion a year, so that we either influence or control the whole amount.

“We recognise that this cannot happen overnight and there needs to be a staged approach based on evidence that devolution delivers increased economic growth and better public services. But today’s settlement is a huge move forwards and a road map for the future.”

Chancellor George Osborne said:"This is a massive moment for the north of England and our plan to build the Northern Powerhouse. After several months of private discussions with local representatives from all three parties, I have reached agreement with the civic leaders of Greater Manchester to create the first metro-wide elected mayor outside of London. This will give Mancunians a powerful voice and bring practical improvements for local people, with better transport links, an Oyster-style travelcard, and more investment in skills and the city's economy.

"I want to talk to other cities who are keen to follow Manchester's lead - every city is different, and no model of local power will be the same.

"The Northern Powerhouse is becoming a reality. We plan to make major investments in northern transport and science, now we have agreement on the first metro area Mayor. This is what we've achieved in just a few months. Giving cities power is part of our long term economic plan to reduce the decades-old gap between north and south, London and the rest."

Greater Manchester and government will now work together to progress the implementation of the agreement, taking it through each local authority and there will be a public consultation on the governance proposals.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:23 PM   #262
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On the same day that Manchester receives devolution and an elected mayor, the new Metrolink Line to the Airport opened:

Picture of the first tram leaving Cornbrook Station on its way to the Airport very early this morning

Courtesy of Kriis







This is the last extension of the Phase 3 expansion of the network, which has seen its size quadruple since 2008.

We now have a sizeable network:




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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:28 PM   #263
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Whilst the news is great the map is not. Am I alone in needing a map that bears some resemblance to the actual geography. I don't like the dumbing down and especially with the computer age we can filter out `clutter' to manage your own journey. Hate it.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:39 PM   #264
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1) That does bear some resemblance to actual geography. It's not an abstract, it's a schematic.

2) They're proven to be easier to read, understand, and navigate with - which is their sole purpose.

So, um, yes. You are alone.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:44 PM   #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uomo Senza Nome View Post
Whilst the news is great the map is not. Am I alone in needing a map that bears some resemblance to the actual geography. I don't like the dumbing down and especially with the computer age we can filter out `clutter' to manage your own journey. Hate it.
We get this a lot.

If that map was geographically accurate, the City Zone stations would be unreadable because of how close together the stations are there, while they'd be big gaps between, say, Radcliffe and Bury and Shaw and Milnrow, etc. It'd be uneven and unreadable.

This is also a strip map, there is a more geographically accurate map available.

Since Harry Beck, Metro systems around the world (apart from the New York Subway) have cast away the idea of providing passengers with geographically accurate maps. Only the driver needs to know exactly where the train is going, the passengers just need to know what station they need to get off at and what colour line that station is on. The Metrolink map provides both of those things in an easy to read format - as does the Underground map in London.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:52 PM   #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDB View Post
We get this a lot.

If that map was geographically accurate, the City Zone stations would be unreadable because of how close together the stations are there, while they'd be big gaps between, say, Radcliffe and Bury and Shaw and Milnrow, etc. It'd be uneven and unreadable.

This is also a strip map, there is a more geographically accurate map available.

Since Harry Beck, Metro systems around the world (apart from the New York Subway) have cast away the idea of providing passengers with geographically accurate maps. Only the driver needs to know exactly where the train is going, the passengers just need to know what station they need to get off at and what colour line that station is on. The Metrolink map provides both of those things in an easy to read format - as does the Underground map in London.
Good ^

However, this treating the people like idiots gets you to today. London and New York may need a schematic. Manchester does not.

Just make it show where it goes. I also, clearly mentioned, in the computer age.

Do Google Maps provide a schematic of your driving directions? Is there more or less detail on a Metrolink Map or any Google Map.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 02:54 PM   #267
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Well Google maps are more accurate and dynamic.

Those transit system maps are designed that way to be put on walls outside stations. They're a 'quick glance' design.

Obviously, a smartphone is a better option almost all the time. But it's not like the transit map is your only choice.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 04:18 PM   #268
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It would be really cool if the Metrolink lines were Named or Numbered, I think this would give the Metro some more character, plus it's easier to understand.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 06:26 PM   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
It would be really cool if the Metrolink lines were Named or Numbered, I think this would give the Metro some more character, plus it's easier to understand.
I agree, and if you look on the new Metro map it's starting to get a bit.... crowded with all the lines and stuff - but the people on the Manc Metrolink forums are a little, erm, boring - they don't tend to agree with line names/numbers.

I'd advocate splitting up lines based on which route through the City Zone they take - post 2CC, they'll be three routes:

- via Exchange Square
- via Piccadilly
- via Shudehill/Market St

They'll be confusion as to whereabouts in the city these lines will arrive into, and so line names in this instance will provide this information easily.

Each route is represented by a letter or a number, whose colour corresponds with which line through the city centre is taken.

The reason the Bury-Ashton sections of the Shudehill and Piccadilly lines are diamonds is because these routes go through both Shudehill AND Piccadilly, so they're a shared line.

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Old November 3rd, 2014, 06:34 PM   #270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDB View Post
An historic day!

Greater Manchester will receive devolved powers, and like London we'll get our own metropolitan-wide Mayor, with control over the GMCA (Greater Manchester Authority), transport, tax revenues, housebuilding, planning...etc etc.

Very exciting.
Don't get me excited now VDB!
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 07:59 PM   #271
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Surely it would be better to give the lines generic, but memorable names, that aren't reliant on destinations or specific stops. As those might change in the future and then you're having to rename them.

Just bog-standard stuff like Central, Northern, South-Central etc.

The colour of the lines is all people need to remember anyway.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 08:48 PM   #272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeKindOfBug View Post
Surely it would be better to give the lines generic, but memorable names, that aren't reliant on destinations or specific stops. As those might change in the future and then you're having to rename them.

Just bog-standard stuff like Central, Northern, South-Central etc.

The colour of the lines is all people need to remember anyway.
More difficult to have, say, a Northern Line because all of Metrolink's lines run North-South, so there's no dominant northern line.
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Old November 4th, 2014, 02:47 AM   #273
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More brilliant pictures from the Metrolink extension thread.

It's worth noting that, now with 400,000 posts, the Metrolink Extension thread is the second largest thread on SkyscraperCity - after New York's World Trade Center project.

Sale Water Park station:







Awesome customer service reps:






Arriving at Airport station early in the morning:







Airport station, later on:










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Old November 4th, 2014, 01:29 PM   #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDB View Post
I agree, and if you look on the new Metro map it's starting to get a bit.... crowded with all the lines and stuff - but the people on the Manc Metrolink forums are a little, erm, boring - they don't tend to agree with line names/numbers.

I'd advocate splitting up lines based on which route through the City Zone they take - post 2CC, they'll be three routes:

- via Exchange Square
- via Piccadilly
- via Shudehill/Market St

They'll be confusion as to whereabouts in the city these lines will arrive into, and so line names in this instance will provide this information easily.

Each route is represented by a letter or a number, whose colour corresponds with which line through the city centre is taken.

The reason the Bury-Ashton sections of the Shudehill and Piccadilly lines are diamonds is because these routes go through both Shudehill AND Piccadilly, so they're a shared line.

Yeah agreed. It should be a lot more simple and minimal.

I agree with the gent who mentioned names... even naming lines after people/buldings/things would be personal and memorable.




Also, the Airport station looks awesome!
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Old November 6th, 2014, 10:59 PM   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDB View Post
More difficult to have, say, a Northern Line because all of Metrolink's lines run North-South, so there's no dominant northern line.
I've heard more than one person call the Media City spur of the metrolink the 'Posh **** Express'.

I'm positive that middle word will be filtered by the forums. But you know what it say, don't you?
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Old November 7th, 2014, 01:44 AM   #276
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I've heard more than one person call the Media City spur of the metrolink the 'Posh **** Express'.

I'm positive that middle word will be filtered by the forums. But you know what it say, don't you?
Can't understand why, I think that line is too slow to be called an "express"

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Old November 7th, 2014, 01:47 AM   #277
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Angelgate Apartments, Victoria

Construction will start on 344 apartments behind Victoria station in February 2015. 120 apartments have already sold (that was nearly a month ago now, so probably more towards 200 have now been sold)

Not the prettiest.....



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Old November 7th, 2014, 01:52 AM   #278
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1 Water St | 28 floors

307 apartments will start construction in January on a 28 storey tower.

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Old November 7th, 2014, 02:55 PM   #279
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Not the best of Manchester projects these last two.
That being said though, at least Manchester has some amazing projects aswell, in contrast with other cities.

I am more keen on London projects but have always checked the rest of UK cities' forums and what I've come to realise, especially in the last months, is that the proposals for Manchester are a great deal better and come in greater numbers. I mean, no offence but, compare that to Liverpool which seems to be building student accommodation mostly.

Manchester has started getting "London projects" as I like to call them and I really hope that this trend continues. Definitely in the right direction to become the second city, if it isn't already.

My view of the city has massively improved that I am actually considering moving there in a few years. It just feels like a city that is now very confident and positive about the future, unlike Birmingham that can't seem to get its act together.
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Old November 7th, 2014, 04:54 PM   #280
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Each to their own of course, but I do agree that Birmingham is a bit of a sleeping giant at the moment, and that Manchester has largely caught up.

Good to know you're considering moving to Manchester - don't hesitate to ask if you want advice on areas etc. If you're coming from London the city is your oyster though and you'll be able to afford most areas.

In other news....

X1 MediaCity | Michigan Avenue Salford

35% of Phase 1 is about 100 flats sold (or nearly 10% of the whole scheme)

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