Investing in Greater Manchester transport 2021/22

Transport is an important part of life for everyone in Greater Manchester. It connects people with jobs, education, family and friends, it gets customers and suppliers to businesses and connects people with important public services. The following information gives an overview of how revenue funding will be spent on transport over the next 12 months.

Who will manage transport and the revenue funding?

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) delivers the transport policies set by the Greater Manchester Mayor and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Our vision for 2040 is to have a city-region with world-class connections that support long-term, sustainable economic growth and access to opportunity for all.

To achieve this we want 50% of all journeys in Greater Manchester to be made on foot, by bike or using public transport by 2040. This will mean a million more sustainable journeys every day, enabling us to deliver a healthier, greener and more productive city-region without increasing motor vehicle traffic. We also work closely with a range of partners to address long-term strategic transport issues including congestion, air pollution and bus reform.

You can find out more about Greater Manchester’s long term plans to establish a fully integrated, high capacity transport network in the Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 (opens in a new tab).The strategy shows how we will make real progress towards the goals of the 2040 Transport Strategy over the next five years.

We’re also planning for a more sustainable future. Through Greater Manchester’s Low Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan we aim to make our city-region a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live, work and play in.

We also offer advice to Greater Manchester's ten planning authorities, advising them on the best way to improve land use and transport integration through plans and development proposals, explained within our Transport for Sustainable Communities (opens in a new tab) guidance.

What is TfGM responsible for?

TfGM coordinates transport networks across the region, and we own Metrolink, the UK’s largest light rail network –which prior to the Coronavirus pandemic accommodated more than 45 million passenger journeys each year. The network is operated on TfGM’s behalf by KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM).

We are responsible for the Metrolink network and both build and manage bus stations and transport interchanges across Greater Manchester. TfGM also coordinates the delivery of cycling and walking infrastructure across Greater Manchester.

Along with local authorities and Highways England, TfGM oversees the highways network to make travelling as safe and efficient as possible for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, buses, car users and freight.  

TfGM does not operate rail services in the region and the majority of bus services are operated by commercial operators. We do however coordinate closely with rail and bus operators and provide travel planning and timetable information for passengers, as well as promoting walking and cycling as safe and healthy commuting options.

TfGM is committed to making travel easier by delivering, coordinating and maintaining an integrated transport network for the people and businesses of Greater Manchester, working alongside the bus, tram and train operators who run the services.

TfGM Budget 2021/22

The TfGM Budget for 2021/22 is set out below: 

Transport for Greater Manchester















Levy allocated to TfGM




Statutory Charge




Mayoral General budget




Special Rail Grant




Metrolink funding from revenues/reserves




Utilisation of other grants/reserves




Total Resources 169,130 173,680 -5,270
Call on Resources

Concessionary Support




Supported Services




Accessible Transport



0                -  

Operational Costs




Clean Air Costs




GM Infrastructure Programme Development








Total Call on Resources





In addition to the costs and revenues in relation to transport activities incurred or received by TfGM, GMCA also incurs certain costs including, in particular, the financing costs connected with the delivery of transport capital schemes. In 2021/22 these are budgeted to be £83.9 million and are not included in the analysis above.


Levy and Statutory Charge

GMCA/TfGM receives funding from several areas. The largest part comes from a Levy and a Statutory Charge on the ten Greater Manchester local authorities via council tax.

Mayoral General Budget

The Mayoral Budget will support costs which have previously been funded from the Transport Levy but which are now a Mayoral function and need to be funded by a Mayoral Precept or the Statutory Charge. In particular this includes the costs associated with developing, updating and delivering the Local Transport Plan and the cost of the 16-18 Concessionary Travel Scheme.

Special Rail Grant

The Department for Transport (DfT) provides rail grants of £1.9 million to TfGM which contributes towards the costs that TfGM incurs on rail activities.

Metrolink funding from reserves/revenues

Metrolink revenues will provide £10.8 million in 2021/22, this relates to a pre-pandemic planned contribution to financing costs.  The pandemic has had a significant impact on passenger revenue from Metrolink.  TfGM has secured financial support since March 2020 from Government to compensate for loss of income.  TfGM has produced a plan for the network following the exit from lockdown and recovery from the pandemic and the likely requirement for ongoing financial support, which is currently being considered by Government. 

Utilisation of other grants / reserves

The 2021/22 budget identifies resources from grants and reserves to continue to support activities including £7 million from Transforming Cities Fund to develop a pipeline of transport infrastructure to support GM's priorities of sustainable growth as part of the wider Greater Manchester Infrastructure Programme.  The government has subsequently awarded GMCA £8.6 million from the Intra-City Transport Fund for development funding for 2021/22 which will further support this work. This category also includes £6.5 million of grant funding towards the cost of the Clean Air Plan.

Calls on Resources

Concessionary support

Since March 2020 the government has been providing grant funding to bus operators and TfGM has, as encouraged by the Government, continued to reimburse bus operators for loss of concessionary fares at pre Covid levels due to the pandemic. Government support is currently subject to an eight week notice period.

A new concessionary travel scheme providing free bus travel for young people aged 16-18 was introduced in 2019.  The costs of the concession for 16-18s for free travel on bus are funded from the Mayoral budget. The Mayoral General Budget has allowed for extension of the scheme in 2021/22 beyond its initial 2 year pilot period.

Supported Bus Services

Throughout 2020/21 supported services have remained at similar levels to support travel, including for key workers, during the pandemic.  However the cost of providing the services is  expected to outturn c.£2 million above budget, due to a combination of higher contract costs  and lower fares income.   These additional net costs have been funded from the delivery of savings in TfGM’s wider budget.  

It is expected that the Supported Services Budget will continue to be under significant pressure during 2021/22 due to a combination of inflationary pressures, lower income and the risk of further commercial de-registrations. Some allowances for these risks have been made in the 2021/22 budget.

Accessible transport

This cost heading largely relates to Ring and Ride – a door-to-door accessible transport service for people who find it difficult to use ordinary public transport.

Operational costs

For 2021/22 the amount of money spent on operations is budgeted to be £40.1 million. As well as costs in relation to specific grants, this covers the costs of:

  • Bus station operations
  • Travelshops
  • Safety and security
  • Bus shelters
  • Traffic signals, maintenance and operation
  • Passenger information
  • Consultation, diversity and social inclusion
  • Support costs

As in previous years the budget includes very challenging targets for savings in operational and support costs.  The reason for the increase in expenditure compared to 2020/21 is primarily due to an increase in expenditure on grant funded activities.

Capital Financing Costs

An allowance of £6.3 million has been allowed in the budget for the cost of borrowing and other capital financing costs for prior year investment in transport assets.