AN Olympic cyclist has been appointed by Metro Mayor Andy Burnham to deliver a 'London-style' transport network for the city-region.

Chris Boardman has been tasked with helping to accelerate the delivery of the Greater Manchester Bee Network – a fully integrated transport system, including the roll-out of the UK’s largest cycling and walking network.

Andy Burnham said: "Chris’s work and drive to make to make our city-region a global player to rival great places such as Copenhagen and New York over the last three years has been inspirational and I know he will apply this same vision in his new job."

The city-region's first ever transport commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: "I am delighted to take on the role. Our vision for Greater Manchester was never just about delivering quality cycling and walking routes.

"While they are essential ingredients in making Greater Manchester a better place to grow up, get on and grow old, they are only a part of the solution.

"If we combine our plan for a world-class active travel network, with trams, buses, trains, taxis and private hire, we can give people everything they need to travel around the region without needing to drive."

Boardman will attend the newly established Bee Network delivery board, which meets weekly, to ensure that the city-region’s plans stay on track.

It was also today revealed that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority is set to approve the next milestone in getting the first franchised buses on the ground in January 2023, by asking Transport for Greater Manchester to start the process to let contracts to run franchised bus services in the North West of the city-region, including Bolton and Wigan.

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham added: "I said on the very first day of my second term that we urgently need to get our buses working better for people across the city-region.

"That includes making sure that they are much more affordable, reliable and, most importantly, part of one single integrated ticketing system - as already happens in London.

"I want this in place as soon as possible and Greater Manchester’s leaders and I will be asked next week to approve this important next step in our journey."