Effects of pandemic still hit NET as latest accounts released

Nottingham Express Transit is still suffering the impact of the Covid pandemic impact with passenger numbers only having recovered to 80% of previous levels. This can be seen in the accounts released which report a pre-tax loss of £57.1 million, which is still said to be as per expectations. Despite these losses the concession who operate the network are in a stable position helped by their recent financial restructuring.

The annual accounts for the year end to 31st March 2023 reports that 14.4 million passenger journeys were recorded (up from 9.9 million the year before). Tramlink Nottingham Limited also made a gross profit of £7.65 million (compared to £4.90 million) before taking into account COVID relief grants from central government and exceptional fixed asset impairment charges.

Total losses before tax and including interest charges were £57.1 million compared to £20.4 million the previous financial year. This is due to an impairment charge of £26.7 million to reduce the carrying value of fixed assets in line with revised expected net present value future cashflows over the remainder of the concession in the post-COVID business environment.

Tim Hesketh, CEO of Tramlink, said: “Like many other public transport operators, there’s no denying that we’re still feeling the effects of the pandemic. It’s promising to see that post-pandemic passenger levels are well on their way to recovery, with figures showing they’re at 80% of what they were before COVID. However, we remain committed to doing all we can to ensure the network can continue to provide a sustainable and convenient option for the thousands of people who rely on it for travel in and around the city. That’s why we believe the restructure was essential for helping us make some key improvements to our operations.

“It will not only give us a much more secure financial position, but it will also allow us to make a raft of investments into areas such as new technology, updates to our ticket systems and the recruitment of additional revenue protection officers. It’s been a challenging few years and we’d like to thank the City Council and Department of Transport for all their support. Thanks to the restructure, we look forward to a brighter year ahead for the network and the wider city.”

Although fares have recently increased on NET, they remain committed to persevering value for money for loyal passengers and have not passed on a large proportion of cost increases incurred due to rising inflation and energy costs. But the long-term ability of NET to do this will be dependent on the level of support provided to public transport by the government.

Tramlink Nottingham Limited hold the concession to operate Nottingham Express Transit until 2034.

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1 Response to Effects of pandemic still hit NET as latest accounts released

  1. Christopher Callan says:

    Is the elephant in the room that public transport required central government subsidy or local government settlement (through a properly funded devolution deal) to actually operate even in a large city. Looking around nearly every network has major problems on horizon (fleet renewal, track renewal, depot renewal, operator questionmarks)

    Predict a cliff edge for Bus/Rail/Tram soon if long-term funding arrangments not secured.

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