New Bee Network Committee holds first meeting

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A new committee that will shape the delivery of Greater Manchester’s emerging fully-integrated, London-style transport system has held its first meeting.

The Bee Network, which gets off the ground from September will bring together buses, trams, rail and active travel to transform how people travel in the city region.

Local control of the transport system means a more coordinated and integrated approach to governance will be needed – one that places accountability to local people at its heart.

Bus franchising, in particular, will change the type and number of decisions being made.

To meet this challenge a new, smaller, and more strategically focused ‘Bee Network Committee’ has been formed. Replacing the former Greater Manchester Transport Committee it leads transport decision-making at a regional level, taking greater ownership and responsibility for the transport network.

It is made up of 16 members, including Chair Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, and Vice Chair Eamonn O’Brien, Leader of Bury Council and Portfolio Holder for Technical Education & Skills and Clean Air for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

There is also one councillor from each of the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities and four councillors appointed by the Mayor for political balance.

Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive TfGM and GMCA said the new arrangements would help local politicians hold the system to account.

He said: “A key part of these new governance arrangements will be an increased number of opportunities for local councillors – and the communities they represent – to influence transport policy and services in their area and better hold TfGM and other agencies to account for the operational performance of the network – for example, around safety and personal security.”

These will include opportunities for local members to inform reviews of the transport network, including regular reviews of the franchised bus network, through direct engagement and consultation.

The Committee will have an important role in advising and supporting the Constituent Councils, on specific transport issues and will work to support the shared ownership of the transport agenda across the city region ensuring that it is informed by local priorities and driven by consensus.

The committee met for the meet on Thursday, July 27, where items on the agenda included the Greater Manchester Bus Strategy, Bee Network fares and products, and an extension to the Metrolink contract.


  • Chair: Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham – Portfolio Holder for Transport
  • Vice chair: Cllr Eamonn O’Brien – GMCA Appointee
  • Cllr Hamid Khurram (Labour) – Bolton council
  • Cllr Alan Quinn (Labour) – Bury Council
  • Cllr Tracey Rawlins (Labour) – Manchester Council
  • Cllr Elaine Taylor (Labour) – Oldham Council
  • Cllr Phil Burke (Labour) – Rochdale Council
  • Mayor Paul Dennett (Labour) – Salford Council
  • Cllr Grace Baynham (Liberal Democrats) – Stockport Council
  • Cllr Warren Bray (Labour) – Tameside Council
  • Cllr Aiden Williams (Labour) – Trafford Council
  • Cllr Paul Prescott (Labour) – Wigan Council
  • Mayoral appointments
  • Cllr Howard Sykes (Liberal Democrats) – Oldham Council
  • Cllr David Meller (Labour & Co – operative) – Stockport Council
  • Cllr Sam Costello (Conservative) – Tameside Council
  • Cllr James Gartside (Conservative) – Rochdale Council

Image credit: Transport for Greater Manchester

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