TRANSPORT chiefs and the region’s MPs are to meet with Secretary of State Geoff Hoon to ask for an improved rail and bus network across Greater Manchester.

They want the Government to spend money on the region’s transport infrastructure despite last month’s vote against the congestion charge.

The decision to send a delegation to Westminsterwas made at a meeting between MPs and members of the Greater Manchester Public Transport Authority (GMPTA).

The gathering was held to discuss a way forward in the fall-out of the referendum decision.

Greater Manchester was promised £3 billion worth of investment in public transport if it had voted in favour of the congestion charge.

But the plans were rejected by all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs following the resounding “no” vote.

Now, Bolton South East MP Dr Brian Iddon, who took part in the meeting, has urged Bolton Council to continue to lobby the Government for transport improvements.

He said: “Manchester is better placed than most cities to bid for transport resources as it already has detailed plans that pre-date the failed Transport Innovation Fund bid.

“What the GMPTA is going to do now is get those plans ready to resubmit. We are not saying that all the schemes will be possible, but we do want action on some of them.”

He said that the delegation from the GMPTA and local MPs was due to meet Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon “within weeks”.

Locally, councillors are keen to make sure that schemes planned for Bolton — including the relocation of the bus station — still see the light of day.

Dr Iddon said: “I would urge Bolton Council to continue pushing the Government on this issue.”

Matt Colledge, chairman of the GMPTA, said: “I was impressed by the strong determination from all sides of the debate to understand how we can work together effectively to get major investment in our public transport back on track.”