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MiniPlus Article
March 27 2019

New fleet boost for
‘lifeline’ transport

The Ring and Ride service, operated by Greater Manchester Accessible Transport (GMATL), is set to have its aging fleet replaced with new cleaner and greener vehicles.

Mainly funded by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) via a grant from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Transport Levy, and fares incomes, the vital door-to-door bus service provides a ‘lifeline’ service to vulnerable people in Greater Manchester.

As part of the Transport Levy budget approved for 2019/20, GMCA has agreed that the grant to GMATL will increase by £300,000 to replace 31 vehicles.

Leasing the new vehicles instead of purchasing will ensure flexibility, enabling the fleet to match ever-advancing vehicle-emissions technology standards and maintain TfGM’s commitment to improving air quality.

Chair of the TfGM Committee, Councillor Mark Aldred, says: “This is excellent news as it’s no exaggeration to say that, in many cases, Ring and Ride provides a lifeline service to people that would otherwise be unable to access family, friends, shops and leisure opportunities. 

“By leasing the vehicles, we give ourselves scope to take advantage of the rapidly-improving low emissions technology as well as any advancements made in accessibility.”

Ring and Ride user Lynne Tunney, who is registered blind, says: “It’s completely revolutionised my whole being. My whole persona has changed and it’s all through Ring and Ride.”

Mr Aldred adds: “It’s a clear example of our commitment to making travel easier, supporting essential public transport services and investing in ongoing improvements to the transport network as a whole to enhance the quality of life for everyone in Greater Manchester and help drive the economic growth of the region.”

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