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Howard Bernstein, clerk to the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport ...
Howard Bernstein, clerk to the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport

Authority and Chris Mulligan, director general of Greater Manchester

Passenger Transport Executive, today met with senior officials from the

Department for Transport.

The meeting followed the announcement last week by the transport secretary that he was unable to approve the revised funding package for phase three of Metrolink - the Big Bang.

In a joint statement, Sir Howard and Mr Mulligan said: 'Today there was an

amicable meeting where both parties set out their respective positions.

'We will be meeting with MPs from Greater Manchester on Thursday 29 July

about latest developments.'

Meanwhile, regeneration minister Lord Rooker was today presented by

Jim Battle, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, Neil

Swannick, executive member for planning and environment, and Tony Lloyd,

with a dossier highlighting the urgent need felt by the people of the

North West for the Metrolink 'Big Bang' to go ahead. Their efforts have

been supported by the Manchester Evening News and business leaders are

backing the belief that it will prove a major blow to the region should the

work on Phase Three of the scheme not be completed.

Mr Battle said: 'The decision to pull the plug on Phase Three has

been met with genuine dismay across the region, by businesses and residents

alike. Metrolink is a vital part of the continuing regeneration of

Manchester and the surrounding area and of ensuring that the local economy

continues to improve. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to

present our case to Lord Rooker in person. Lord Rooker has agreed to take

the document and our comments immediately to the deputy prime minister,

John Prescott, when he returns to London this evening.'

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