Transport Secretary confirms £18 million to protect vital services in Greater Manchester
Extraordinary funding settlement will enable the city’s transport network to recover from the impact of the pandemic
- government steps in to provide £18 million for Greater Manchester transport services
- additional funding settlement builds on over £400 million government funding already being provided to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
- funding is conditional on TfGM reaching financial sustainability and will maintain transport services in Greater Manchester while sector recovers from the pandemic
Local transport services in Greater Manchester are being better protected thanks to an extraordinary funding settlement of £18 million announced by the Transport Secretary today (8 June 2023) to ensure the stability and reliability of the transport network.
The new funding for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) will enable the city’s transport network to operate and recover from the impact of the pandemic while considering value for money for all taxpayers. The funding will support Greater Manchester’s extensive public transport network in particular.
Set to last until the end of March 2024, the additional funding follows more than £400 million provided for Greater Manchester’s local transport network through numerous transport schemes since March 2020. This is in addition to £1.07 billion through City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS), £39.7 million for active travel schemes and £19.87 million through Levelling Up Funds for transport.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:
"Since the start of the pandemic, the government has repeatedly stepped up to support Greater Manchester and the Bee Network, providing over £400 million to protect and improve services.
"We’re determined to see a thriving local transport network in this great city and, while our support package must be fair to taxpayers, I am confident this additional extraordinary settlement will help operators to recover from the pandemic while Transport for Greater Manchester follows through on its promise to reach financial sustainability."
The funding is being provided on the condition that TfGM outlines a pathway to financial sustainability as committed to in the Trailblazer Devolution Deal, which strengthened the Mayor’s powers on transport in Greater Manchester.
TfGM currently faces a very distinct set of circumstances driven principally by the way that Metrolink funding is structured and the city region’s unique local funding commitment to the Greater Manchester Transport Fund (GMTF).
Despite financial constraints impacting the country, this latest funding reaffirms the government’s commitment to supporting the network as it continues to combat declining bus and tram usage levels, inflation costs, historic debts and additional revenue risks from bus franchising, and continues to work towards long-term financial sustainability.
Breakdown of funding provided to TfGM since the start of the pandemic
Over £400 million government funding already being provided to TfGM since the start of the pandemic, including:
- following the announcement of 17 May 2023, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) will receive a fixed sum of £13 million of Bus Service Operators Grant plus (BSOG+) funding to continue supporting services. This will be calculated based on mileage and BSOG claims for operators in GMCA in 22/23. It will amount to a total of £6.5 million for each of 2023/24 and 2024/25
- over £13 million of funding to Greater Manchester for the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) each year, with Greater Manchester being the first authority in the country to receive this funding directly
- £95 million in Bus Service Improvement Plan funding
- £260 million since the start of the pandemic to support Greater Manchester’s bus and tram network, including bespoke arrangements over the Bus Recovery Grant funding during the scheme, giving Greater Manchester full control over the use of this funding
- £35.7 million through the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme to support the introduction of a green bus fleet
This funding is in addition to:
- Greater Manchester has been allocated £1.07 billion through CRSTS, part of a 5-year £5.7 billion government investment to improve the transport networks of 8 city regions across England from 2022/23 to 2026/27
- at Spring Budget, a further £8.8 billion was announced for a second round of CRSTS 2 for 5 years from 2027. Core funding for Greater Manchester will be included in its Single Mayoral Settlement. The process to confirm individual allocations for city regions will be confirmed at the next Spending Review
- £39.7 million for active travel schemes since the start of the pandemic, including £23,719,500 million in the most recent round of Active Travel Fund 4 allocations, alongside £2,876,601 in Capability Funding 2022 and £13,145,172 active travel fund allocations 2021/22