Greater Manchester will be given more than £1 billion to transform the region's public transport system, the government has announced.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will make an official announcement on the 'levelling-up' package - costing almost £7 billion overall - in next week's Budget.

The package will include a £1.07 billion boost for our region, which local leaders previously made a bid for to help create a European-style transport system.

The 'Bee Network' bid, described as Andy Burnham as 'game-changing', included a request for more than £1bn in capital funding for transport, a request for subsidies in order to create a London-style bus network and further control over the skills budget in order to retrain people for green jobs.

READ MORE:Andy Burnham plans major public transport overhaul in green carbon neutral bid

It also included £300m a year for research and development investment - with the aim of creating hundreds of quality new jobs, particularly on the border of Bury and Rochdale.

The Manchester Evening News understands that some of the new funding can be used to draw up plans for new tram and tram-train routes - including to Stockport, Middleton and Bolton - as well as continuing the expansion of walking and cycle routes.

Andy Burnham made a bid to transform transport into the 'Bee Network'

It can also be used on a new fleet of electric buses, though Greater Manchester's separate bid for funding for making bus fares cheaper has not yet been granted.

The mayor, who lobbied for the package at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester earlier this month, has described the announcement as an 'important first step' towards transforming the region's transport system into a more 'London-style' one.

But he said residents will only see the real benefits once fares have been lowered on par with those in the capital.

Rishi Sunak said the funding should 'level up commutes and journey times' across England's cities, particularly in the North and the Midlands.

As well as Greater Manchester, money be also be given to projects in West Yorkshire, West Midlands, South Yorkshire, Tees Valley, the West of England the Liverpool City Region.

Overall, £5.7 billion will be given to boost trains and station upgrades, as well as expansions of tram networks, and £1.2 billion will be funded to transform bus services.

The Chancellor will make a full announcement at the autumn Budget and Spending Review next week.

What Andy Burnham has said

The Greater Manchester Mayor said: "This is an important first step towards a London-style public transport system for Greater Manchester and we welcome this announcement from the Chancellor.

"We believe it shows the Government is listening to the case that Greater Manchester is making.

"As welcome as it is, infrastructure investment alone will not make levelling up feel real to the people of Greater Manchester.

"That will only happen when the frequency and coverage of bus services are increased and fares are lowered to London levels.

"So we are now hopeful that the Government will soon build on this foundation and match this allocation with revenue funding to make our Bee Network vision a reality.”

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What Rishi Sunak has said

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said: "Great cities need great transport and that is why we’re investing billions to improve connections in our city regions as we level up opportunities across the country.

"There is no reason why somebody working in the North and Midlands should have to wait several times longer for their bus or train to arrive in the morning compared to a commuter in the capital.

"This transport revolution will help redress that imbalance as we modernise our local transport networks so they are fit for our great cities and those people who live and work in them.”

What Grant Shapps has said

The Transport Secretary said: "We’re absolutely committed to building back better and boosting regional economies right across the country, and these investments are a clear example of how we’re doing that.

"Modernising our transport network sits at the heart of our levelling up agenda.

"This funding will serve as a catalyst for the regeneration of towns and cities by improving infrastructure and ensuring more people have better access to jobs and education."

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