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.'