Manchester targeting alternative finance for transport

Exclusive: The head of Manchester’s transport agency has said alternative funding mechanisms are vital.

Jon Lamonte, chief executive of Transport for Greater Manchester, told Partnerships Bulletin that, as the agency looks for £15bn of investment over the next 20 years through its Transport Fund 2 initiative, leveraging private finance will be an important part of the mix.

“Finding alternative funding mechanisms is important,” he said on the sidelines of the Canadian Council for PPPs annual conference in Toronto earlier this week. “For example, Crossrail 2 [in London] is already looking at land value capture, business rate supplements, etc, and that is the approach that we will take, looking at the variety of options available.”

He added that the agency is looking at developing tram-trains as the next part of the extension to the existing tram network. While he acknowledged efforts to deliver tram-trains have proved difficult in the past – notably in Sheffield – he said Manchester sees it as “potentially the most logical way to carrying on the expansion of Metrolink [Manchester’s tram system].”