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The Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) is the public body responsible for co-ordinating public transport services throughout Greater Manchestermarker in North West England.

The GMPTE is the executive arm of the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) (formerly the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA)) which funds and makes policies for the GMPTE. The authority is made up of 33 councilors appointed from the ten Greater Manchester districts (Boltonmarker, Burymarker, Manchestermarker, Oldhammarker, Rochdalemarker, Salfordmarker, Stockportmarker, Tameside, Traffordmarker and Wiganmarker).

GMPTE's headquarters is at 2 Piccadilly Place, in Manchester City Centremarker.


The GMPTE does not run passenger services, but is responsible for:

  • Subsidising bus services that are considered socially necessary but would not otherwise be viable, and providing bus stops and shelters.
  • Managing the funding and administration of concessionary fares for the elderly and disabled etc. GMPTE also runs "Ring-and-Ride" services for the disabled.
  • Specifying fares and service levels of local train services.
  • Funding, promoting and managing major county-wide public transport initiatives such as transport interchanges and the Metrolink.
  • Providing information about public transport services, and operates multi-modal ticketing schemes.

GMPTE owns the Manchester Metrolink light rail system, operated under a concession by Serco until taken over by Stagecoach on Sunday 15 July 2007 on a fixed contract, with the concession reverting to GMPTE.



The organisation which later became the GMPTE was originally created in 1969 by the Transport Act 1968. At the time the conurbation surrounding Manchester was divided between the two counties of Lancashiremarker and Cheshiremarker. Because of this, the executive was originally known as the SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive, SELNEC standing for 'South East Lancashire North East Cheshire', a joint authority of the various local councils.

The South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire Passenger Transport Area was defined as:

(a) the county boroughs of the Cities of Manchester and Salford, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Stockport;
(b) so much of the administrative county of the County Palatine of Chester as is comprised in the following county districts or parts of such districts, that is to say
:(i) the boroughs of Altrincham, Dukinfield, Hyde, Sale and Stalybridge;
:(ii) the urban districts of Alderley Edge, Bowdon, Bredbury and Romiley, Cheadle and Gatley, Hale, Hazel Grove and Bramhall, Longdendale, Marple and Wilmslow;
:(iii) the rural districts of Disley and Tintwistle;
:(iv) so much of the rural district of Bucklow as is comprised in the following parishes: Carrington, Partington and Ringway;
:(v) so much of the rural district of Macclesfield as is comprised in the of parish of Poynton-with-Worth;
(c) so much of the administrative county of Derby as is comprised in the borough of Glossop;
(d) so much of the administrative county of the County Palatine of Lancaster as is comprised in the following county districts, that is to say
:(i) the boroughs of Ashton-under-Lyne, Eccles, Farnworth, Heywood, Leigh, Middleton, Mossley, Prestwich, Radcliffe, Stretford and Swinton and Pendlebury;
:(ii) the urban districts of Atherton, Audenshaw, Chadderton, Crompton, Denton, Droylsden, Failsworth, Horwich, Irlam, Kearsley, Lees, Little-borough, Little Lever, Milnrow, Ramsbottom, Royton, Tottington, Turton, Tyldesley, Urmston, Wardle, Westhoughton, Whitefield, Whitworth and Worsley;
(e) so much of the administrative county of the West Riding of Yorkshire as is comprised in the urban district of Saddleworth.

From 1 November 1969 the PTE took over the bus fleets of 11 municipalities, and operationally, the organisation was split into 3 divisional areas, Northern, Central, and Southern

SELNEC branded its fleet with its corporate orange and white livery and the 'S' logo. The 'S' logo was coloured differently in each division, blue for Central, magenta for Northern, and green for Southern. For corporate operations, the parcel operations (inherited from Manchester), and the coaching fleet, the 'S' logo was in orange

In the early 1970s, SELNEC began to promote a project to construct an underground railway beneath central Manchester, the Picc-Vic tunnel. The scheme aimed to link the two main railway stations, Piccadillymarker and Victoriamarker with a tunnel. The project was eventually cancelled on grounds of cost.

On 1 January 1972, SELNEC PTE acquired from the National Bus Company subsidiary North Western Road Car buses, services and depots in Altrinchammarker, Glossopmarker, Oldhammarker, Stockportmarker and Urmstonmarker.. The corporate orange and white livery was applied, with the 'S' logo in brown.

Greater Manchester PTE

The original Greater Manchester Transport double 'M' logo from 1974
When the new Metropolitan county of Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974 the executive was renamed to its present title, with the county council replacing the joint transport authority. The PTE also acquired the bus operations of Wiganmarker Corporation with 130 vehicles. Further expansion saw the acquisition of Warburton's Coaches in November 1975 and Lancashire United Transport and Godfrey Abbot in January 1976. The double 'M' logo was first seen around 1974 and still survives. It was used on the side of buses next to the words "Greater Manchester Transport" displayed in upper and lower case helvetica letters.

Following the abolition of the Greater Manchester County Council in 1986, a new Passenger Transport Authority was created to administer the GMPTE, made up of councillors from the Greater Manchester district councils. Apart from printed material and logos etched in glass on the side of bus shelters, GMPTE began a programme of adding their logo to 101 railway station nameboards in the area in the 1990s. This idea was later extended to a re-design of the bus stop flag in 2000 resulting in a unified corporate appearance containing the double M logo.

Deregulation and privatisation of bus services

In order to prepare for bus deregulation, the PTE's bus operations passed to Greater Manchester Buses Limited (trading as GM Buses) in October 1986. The company was owned at "arm's length" by the PTE, and had to compete in the deregulated market. In preparation for privatisation, the company was split into GM Buses North and GM Buses South on 31 December 1993. Both companies were sold to their managements on 31 March 1994, and on sold to major groups in 1996: GM Buses South to Stagecoach in February, GM Buses North to First Group in March.


Transport Innovation Fund

GMPTE and the GMPTA worked with the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities to produce a bid for monies from the Transport Innovation Fund. Within the bid were proposals to introduce Congestion charging in Greater Manchester. They claimed the Greater Manchester Transport Innovation Fund would have significantly improve public transport in the area funded by charging motorists entering the city at peak times. A consultation document was sent out to residents during July 2008. In December 2008, a local referendum voted no to the proposals.

GMPTE is developing a ITSO compliant smartcard known as Readycard.


  1. The South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire Passenger Transport Area (Designation) Order 1969 (1969 No. 95)
  2. publicity brochure

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