Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has welcomed 'a significant moment for the city-region’s long-term vision for rail' as its transport body began operating its first railway station.
Horwich Parkway Station is owned by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) but was previously operated by Northern Trains, now nationalised.
TfGM said the station will act as a blueprint for Greater Manchester’s future approach to station management, 'which includes working with local partners and the rail industry to ensure stations are accessible, integrated and reflect the needs of their communities'.
While Horwich Parkway will be the first rail station that TfGM operates and manages on a day-to-day basis, it has been responsible for all the enhancements and renewals at the station since its construction in 1999.
It will now be responsible for everything at the station apart from the running of the trains and the tracks. This includes selling tickets, customer service, passenger assistance, cleaning and day-to-day maintenance and long-term renewals and enhancements.
Mr Burnham said: ‘We have long-standing ambitions to transform rail stations in Greater Manchester, managing them for and on behalf of local people. Taking over the running of Horwich Parkway is a key first step on that journey.
‘More local control over our public transport services is key to Greater Manchester being able to design and deliver a network that is properly joined-up across all forms of transport and contribute to achieving the priorities of the city-region and all the 10 districts.’
Horwich Parkway Station
He added: ‘We also have ambitions to transform rail services in Greater Manchester, which was set out in Our Prospectus for Rail, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of the long-awaited Williams Review and working with Government to ensure we have a stronger voice in decisions on how services and timetables are designed, specified and operated.’