Trafford council leader has become the chairman of the Greater Manchester Transport Committee and will head up the region’s big transport projects.

Coun Andrew Western won a vote to take up the position this week and will head up the committee’s preparation for the biggest change to transport in the city region for more than 30 years.

The Bee Network, an integrated, London-style transport network, will be the major focus of the city-region’s transport development over the coming years, and Coun Western will be at the helm of discussions about it.

The GMTC is a joint committee with representatives from the ten borough councils, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

It holds transport networks in the region, including Transport for Greater Manchester, to account.

Coun Western is also the Local Government Association’s cross-party chairman on finance, resources, and cost of living. He has previously worked in civil engineering consultancy, including large transport projects. 

Coun Andrew Western said: “The committee has performed a fantastic role in holding operators, TfGM and other bodies to account for delivering important transport services provided to the people of Greater Manchester.

“On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank Coun Mark Aldred for his leadership over the last four years during an incredibly challenging time for public transport. I am glad, therefore, to have retained his knowledge and experience through his appointment as vice-chair.

“Greater Manchester rightly has bold ambitions for transport and the next three years are a critical time as we implement the Bee Network. This includes the return of buses to public control and ensuring residents have easy access to bus, rail and Metrolink services. We also continue our plans to deliver the largest cycling and walking network in the UK.

“Now, more than ever, we need a transport system that is affordable and accessible to all and allows people to better connect with opportunities across the region. I look forward to working closely with the Mayor, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Committee Members from all parts of Greater Manchester, as we make sure the needs of Greater Manchester residents are at the heart of how transport services are planned and delivered.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “I would like to congratulate Coun Western on his appointment as chairman of the Greater Manchester Transport Committee.

“We are in the midst of huge-scale public transport reform to deliver an integrated London-style system for our city-region, and I have no doubt Coun Western will provide excellent leadership and always keep our residents’ best interests at heart.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Andrew and the rest of the committee, building on the their achievements so far around the scrutiny and delivery of the transformative Bee Network vision.”