NORTHERN Powerhouse minister Jake Berry has underlined his personal commitment to extending the Greater Manchester Metro to Bolton.

During the General Election, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps came to the town and promised work on the new tram line could start in 2022.

The Cabinet minister said he was ‘absolutely’ committed to the project and he would be ‘disappointed’ if Greater Manchester Metro-Mayor Andy Burnham did not support it.

Asked about the project during a visit to Bury College, Mr Berry said: "That's ultimately a decision for the Mayor of Greater Manchester but I am certainly extremely keen to see the Metro go to Bolton.

"I'm also very keen to see it go to other areas. I think there is a real opportunity for a spur off from Bury to Heywood.

"As a government we will continue to work with the Mayor of Greater Manchester and Transport for Greater Manchester on their exciting 2040 expansion programme. But I do think that we need to be a bit more ambitious and I'm very keen to see those plans accelerated."

Mr Berry said his ambition was to bring the powers, cash and investment centralised in London after the Second World War back to the north saying: "The best ideas for the north don't come from the south."

Asked if he would resign if Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed to deliver for the north, Mr Berry said: "It's a really good question but I don't start from the premise that we won't deliver because I look at his delivery as Mayor of London and I'm absolutely certain that all of the things we have set out we will deliver. We're acutely aware that many voters in Bolton and Bury voted Conservative for the first time in a generation and we now are working to deliver those better jobs, those more highly-paid secure jobs for people in the North."