Greater Manchester has set out ambitions for a number of key rail routes in the city-region, including in Stockport, to be integrated with the city-region’s Bee Network vision for a London-style public transport system.

Six key rail routes have been highlighted to become integrated with other services from 2025, once buses across the city-region are brought fully under local control, including three serving stations in the Stockport borough. Greater Manchester is planning talks with rail operators regarding the following routes:

  • Wigan to Manchester Victoria
  • Stalybridge to Southport
  • Glossop & Hadfield to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Rose Hill Marple to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Buxton to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Alderley Edge to Manchester Piccadilly

The move would see around one in five local train services integrated into the Bee Network, with a focus on performance and reliability, improved train station accessibility and a pilot of pay-as-you-go fares, similar to Metrolink’s touch-in/touch-out system. The city-region will look to explore proposals with the rail industry and amid ongoing discussions with Westminster over further devolved powers over the rail network that could see additional local services currently provided by Northern integrated into the Bee Network.

Work to set out the case for extending the Metrolink network to Stockport town centre, as well as exploring options to restore regular services on the Stockport to Stalybridge train line, is also currently underway.

The announcement of ambitions for bring rail services under greater local control comes as Greater Manchester reveals that two bus companies, Go North West and Diamond, have been appointed to operate franchised services in Wigan, Bolton and parts of Salford and Bury from September 2023.


Transport Commissioner for Greater Manchester, Vernon Everitt, said:

“Announcements on bus franchising and our ambitions for local rail services demonstrate further strong momentum towards delivery of the Bee Network – an integrated London-style transport system.

“We are seeing a strong increase in the number of customers using Metrolink trams and buses, demonstrating high demand for safe, reliable and affordable public transport in our rapidly growing city-region.

“We will progressively make it easier for everyone to use our services with simplified and joined-up fares, ticketing and information provision across bus, tram, rail and cycle hire. We will also continue to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and support vulnerable people on the network in collaboration with the TravelSafe Partnership.

“We are also developing major local transport schemes at pace, with more than £100m of projects currently being delivered including new electric buses, quality bus routes and better transport interchanges.

“I’d like to thank the business community and the people of TfGM, our industry partners and many other stakeholders who are working so hard to totally transform the transport system in Greater Manchester.”