A MAJOR transport overhaul in Manchester could see a 'tram-train' link to Warrington.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham unveiled the new plans which could mean bus and train passengers can travel across the region with a simpler integrated ticket system and London-style capped fares.

The new plans, dubbed Our Network, were released alongside a ‘tube map’ of the area, showing new orbital bus links, locally-controlled rail services and a tram-train link to Warrington.

Transport for Greater Manchester describe the 'Tram-trains’ as a light-rail public transport system where tram services like Metrolink can share lines with conventional trains in an effort to link the Metrolink to towns outside of Manchester without building new lines.

The plans say they would help to improve access to the city centre at the busiest times while also offering more capacity on the heavy rail network but a trial scheme with Network Rail would need to run first to gain technical approvals.

The announcements come in the wake of a review which recommended that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) takes control of local buses through the franchising model.

If GMCA leaders agree to change the model at a meeting this week, the plans will be put out for an independent review and then a public consultation, with the final decision expected next year.

Campaigners say public control of our buses would mean affordable fares, a simple smart card with a cap on spend, and services that are 'accountable to communities'.

But the switch to a franchising model has been heavily criticised by others, including the OneBus Partnership which represents the region’s private bus firms.

Gary Nolan, chief executive of OneBus, said: "Despite a two-year assessment on whether to consider franchising or partnership, today’s announcement still keeps the people of Greater Manchester in the dark when it comes to the cost.

“If the local authority truly wants to be doing things differently ­— like they say ­— they can do better than replicate a London-style system that expects to operate under a £742m deficit by the end of this year, cutting routes and consuming government subsidies.

READ > What stood in place of YOUR house in the 19th century?

“Multi-operator tickets are already available, capped at £19 a week across the bus network, while passengers can use the integrated multi-modal Get Me There travel card on all bus routes and trams."

If plans for Our Network are eventually implemented, the system would link bus travel with regional train and tram services, as well as a grid of cycling and walking routes, over a 10-year period.

You can read more about the plans here