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Investing in Greater Manchester transport

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.

GM’s move to bus franchising is a key enabler for delivering transformational change in its transport system. This all builds towards delivering the Bee Network, an integrated ‘London-style’ transport system, which will transform the way people travel across the city region.

By designing and delivering public transport, active travel and shared mobility services as one system with local accountability and aligned to national and local priorities, the Bee Network will transform the travelling experience and make sustainable, low carbon transport an attractive option for all. The ability to better plan the network will drive revenue by encouraging more people to switch from car journeys to public transport and active travel.

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 (external website). The strategy shows how we will make real progress towards the goals of the 2040 Transport Strategy over the next five years.

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 guidance (external website).

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).

Greater Manchester is the first place in the UK outside of London to introduce bus franchising, bringing bus services under local control in the biggest change to public transport in the city region in over 30 years. Implementation of Bus Franchising is now well under way. Tranche 1, covering Wigan and Bolton, became operational on 24 September 2023 and Tranche 2, covering Oldham, Bolton and Bury is due to commence operation in March 2024. Tranche 3 is scheduled to commence in early 2025.

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 currently 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 2024/25

The Greater Manchester Transport revenue budget for 2024/25 is £409.0m. From this £78.4m is retained by GMCA to meet borrowing costs for ongoing investments in transport infrastructure and £330.6m is allocated to TfGM. 

The table below shows the TfGM budget and planned expenditure for 2024/25 of £332.5m, which includes the £330.6m allocated by GMCA and other grant funding and income.

Transport for Greater Manchester Revenue Budget Item 2024/25 Budget £000

Concessionary Support non-Franchised Services


Capped Fares Scheme non-Franchised Services


Non-Franchised Tendered Services


Payment of Devolved Bus Services Operator Grant


Bus Franchising Implementation costs


Bus Franchising Net Cost


Metrolink net cost


Operational Costs


Accessible Transport


Traffic signal costs


Scheme Pipeline development costs




Total Expenditure


Revenue grant from GMCA to TfGM


Other Grants


Total Resources


In the presentation above all local and national grant funding, the vast majority of which is paid to TfGM either by or through GMCA, is included in the Resources section. The costs shown in the Expenditure section represent the net cost (after farebox and other income) of providing the services, but before any GMCA funding has been applied.


The Concessionary Reimbursement budget includes the cost of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) and the local Concessionary scheme, including the 16-18 (Our Pass) concessionary travel scheme.

Since the first lockdown TfGM has, as encouraged by Department for Transport (DfT), continued to reimburse operators for concessionary reimbursement based on pre-pandemic levels of patronage. However, DfT has recently issued updated guidance for reimbursement beyond March 2024 under which reimbursement must revert to being based on actual patronage, albeit using a new reimbursement calculator.

The 2024/25 Concessionary Reimbursement budget reflects the fact that, from the end of March 2024, concessionary reimbursement to external operators will only be payable for services which are currently operating in Tranche 3, as Tranches 1 and 2 will be fully franchised by 31 March 2024. The ‘lost revenue’ from carrying concessionary passengers in the franchised areas is included as part of the net contract costs for operating franchised services.

The Our Pass scheme provides free bus travel within Greater Manchester for 16–18-year-olds and direct access to other opportunities in the region. The GMCA agreed, at its meeting on 27 January 2023, to fund Our Pass on a continuing basis.  The scheme is funded from a combination of Mayoral precept, reserves and other income. As is the case for ENCTS, the ‘lost revenue’ from carrying these concessionary passengers in the franchised areas is included as part of the net contract costs for operating franchised services. A total funding budget of £17.4m is proposed for 2024/25 with a risk reserve held by TfGM if costs exceed this level, in line with the original funding for the scheme agreed by GMCA.

Capped bus fares were introduced in September 2022 (singles and daily fares) and January 2023 (weekly fares). The budgeted costs for 2024/25 are an estimate of the costs for the year payable in the non-franchised area. The Capped Fare scheme is funded from BSIP grant income from DfT. The ‘reduced revenue’ in the franchised areas is included as part of the net contract costs for operating franchised services.

The costs of funding tendered bus services in the non-franchised area are shown on the Non-Franchised Tendered Services cost line. This cost is budgeted to reduce in 2024/25 as more of the network is franchised, however the budget has come under further significant pressure in the current financial year as operators have withdrawn services in non-franchised areas. TfGM has reinstated the majority of these services, and the budget reflects the continuation of this support until the commencement of Tranche 3.

The budget for Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) represents payments to operators of commercial services in the non-franchised areas. This amount is due to reduce in 2024/25 in line with the roll out of franchising.

Expenditure on Bus Franchising implementation costs is budged to be £24.5m in 2024/25 The key activities in the year are set out below:

  • Work to mobilise and implement franchised services;
  • Work to operate and manage the Residual Value mechanism, as set out in the Assessment; and
  • A quantified risk allowance, in line with the allowance in the Assessment, and as considered appropriate for this stage of development and implementation.

The net costs (ie net of farebox income) of operating franchised bus services, before any GMCA funding has been applied are included in the Bus Franchising net cost line. An estimate of the costs for Tranche 3 is currently included based on the costs for the first two tranches. Tranche 3 costs, and any other variances in costs and income, will be updated through the quarterly outturn reports as the year progresses.

The net costs (ie net of farebox income) of operating franchised Metrolink, before any GMCA funding has been applied are included in the Metrolink net cost line.

Net operational costs include the costs of operating and maintaining the TfGM owned bus stations, travel shops and other infrastructure, the costs of support functions and other specific grant funded costs. The underlying costs are forecast to increase by c£6 million from the budgeted costs in 2023/24, largely due to inflationary pressures. It has been assumed that this will be offset by savings delivered by an ongoing programme to ensure the most effective and efficient delivery models; and to reduce the core operating costs of TfGM, including by reductions in external expenditure; and an ongoing focus on increasing commercial income from the existing TfGM asset base. Also included in this cost heading are the revenue costs of Active Travel Schemes which are fully funded by specific revenue grants as noted above.

The budgeted grant payable to Greater Manchester Accessible Transport Ltd (GMATL), for the provision of Ring and Ride services, of up to £3.7m is in line with the 2023/24 budget and outturn.

The costs for operating traffic signals include the costs for energy, communications and any other operational costs, including any repairs and maintenance. The network continues to expand primarily due to the delivery of new highways / active travel schemes.

Expenditure on scheme development costs is budgeted to reduce slightly in 2024/25, reflecting the phasing of activity on the development of Business Cases and schemes which are part of the programme of works funded through CRSTS.


The proposed funding to TfGM for 2024/25 is £330.6m, an increase of £11.9m compared to 2023/24 revised budget at quarter 3. The major variances are as follows:

  • Transport Revenue Grant to TfGM of £152.0m funded from the Levy and Statutory Charge, which is an increase of £11.0m compared to 2023/24 revised budget funded by:
    • Local Authority (District) Transport Levy increase of £6m. This funding is ringfenced for the net costs of Metrolink and Bus Franchising, with the amount of Levy allocated for TfGM ‘core’ budgets to be maintained at a ‘cash flat’ level again.
    • Capital financing cost of £5.0m to be met from the GMCA Capital Programme Reserve.
  • Previously announced Government bus recovery funding (BSOG+) of £6.5m for 2024/25, which is a reduction of £23.7m compared to 2023/24.
  • Bus Franchising funding of £42m for 2024/25 funded from a combination of Mayoral precept, Earnback reserve and Local Transport reserve. This an increase of £18.6m compared to the 2023/24 revised budget.
  • City Region Sustainable Transport Scheme funding / ‘capital to revenue switch’ of £25m applied to the revenue budget, funded from the Business Rates Top-Up reserve.
  • Scheme development funding of £17.1m, also funded from the Business Rates Top-Up reserve. This is a reduction of £3.1m compared to the 2023/24 revised budget.
  • 16-18 ‘Our Pass’ and Care Leavers concessionary pass funding of £17.7m (an increase of £0.3m from 2023/24) funded from the Mayoral budget from a combination of Mayoral precept, grant funding, reserves and income.
  • Other grants of £17.7m including Bus Service Operators grant and Active Travel revenue grants which reflects a £17.1m decrease compared to 2023/24 revised budget.