I left for Brighton at 8am yesterday morning travelling down with Simon Ashley and hitching a lift with Didsbury member Greg Stanton. After an uneventful journey down to the south coast, I met a disappointed staff member in the form of Mike Haw who had seen his Liverpool side lose to Man United after a couple of dubious refereeing decisions. However we were both pleased with the behaviour of both sets of fans letting the football be the talking point as it always should be.
I caught up on a well played City game by both sides and began my conference calendar.
I spoke at the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) fringe event, “how we can make buses work for our cities”. Other speakers were Mark Hunter MP and TfGM member and Stockport Councillor Craig Wright. A lively Q&A followed from the audience which led to some very interesting areas of discussion to close the meeting. One of the questions raised was about the Oyster card system in London being replicated in Manchester and I’m pleased TfGM have come today stating it plans to have a Manchester Oyster card (or Mango) will be implemented within two years.
Later on I attended a Transport Hub dinner at the conference hotel. I put forward the case that transport spending in Manchester should match what is spent in London to make Manchester competitive with the rest of the country and beyond.
Overall it was a great first day at conference (aside from a City draw) and makes for a promising second day today.
It’s great to see the press coverage tracking the many announcements we are making even if the Daily Mail did choose to twist Nick Clegg’s words!