Ever since free concessionary bus travel was introduced trams and light rail have been a bit of anomaly. With no central government funding it has been up to local authorities as to whether they want to fund it, with Blackpool the most high-profile and controversial result where the plan has changed many times over the year. Now in Manchester any local concessionary travel pass holders will have to pay a £10 annual premium to allow their passes to be valid on both Metrolink and local rail services.
Currently anyone who holds a Greater Manchester concessionary pass is entitled to travel for free after 0930 Mondays to Fridays and all day at the weekends on both Metrolink and on local rail services. This only applies to those with a Greater Manchester pass as those issued by local authorities in other areas have to pay standard fares.
However, with the continued budgetary constraints seen across the country it has now been confirmed that as from 1st February 2020 anyone who wishes to travel for free off-peak on both Metrolink and rail services will have to pay a £10 premium each year. Anyone who doesn’t pay this additional fee will have to pay full fares at all times.
The add on fee will be able to be purchased as from 5th January 2020 and will then be applied to the card for a full 12 months from 1st February 2020. After 1st February 2020 the year will start from the date you make the purchase.
Whilst £10 is a relatively small amount the additional fee will be felt by many who have to pay this extra fee although once that amount is paid the offer of free off-peak travel does still remain a huge benefit for Greater Manchester residents.