By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter
Ticket prices for Nottingham’s trams will rise from April this year after the operator’s electricity costs soared by as much as 700 per cent.
In March last year ticket prices across the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) network increased by 20p and 30p for day fares.
An adult single ticket currently costs £2.80, and an adult day ticket £4.70.
The prices of some tickets will increase again from April, according to Tramlink, the group of companies behind the network.
Tramlink says there has been an increase in footfall across the NET network in the past few months, but it is still dealing with changes in behaviours as a result of the Covid pandemic.
Tramlink did not disclose the exact rises during the meeting, and did not provide them when asked later by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The cost of living crisis, which has seen energy costs soar across both domestic and business sectors in the UK, is also proving problematic.
During a Nottingham City Council tram meeting at Loxley House on March 14, concerns were raised an increase to ticket prices may “erect another barrier” to getting people back on the tram.
One advisory member at the meeting said: “Earlier we said, in the value area, people are perceiving the tram as expensive and that is a barrier to increased patronage, and they’d be one of the factors in the reduced patronage of the tram.
“Then you said there was a price increase in April. To me that is incongruent because if we are already struggling to get people in, I think maybe that is going to drive some people away and erect another barrier.
“I am worried about that.”
Andrew Conroy, the chief operating officer for Tramlink, said there is no “easy answer” to getting people to use the tram, but said he did not feel price rises would have an impact.
“We’ve done everything that we possibly need to do to check the elasticity of a fair increase is at the right level,” he said.
“Elasticity, basically, is if you put the prices up too high, then you hit a peak and you have lost so many customers the price increase doesn’t make any impact.
“Our costs have gone up by nearly 11 per cent, so that’s happening. Our electricity costs have gone up by nearly 200 per cent.
“Second to that at one point it was nearly 700 per cent. So it is very, very difficult.
“I don’t want to be sat here in six month’s time, I don’t think I will be, saying we’ve lost patronage.”