Tyne and Wear Metro has secured additional government funding to keep its programme of essential infrastructure renewal works going after March 2021.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has been running the £350 million ‘All Change’ programme since 2010. It has now secured an additional £20 million to keep the programme running after the official end date of March 2021. Nexus also confirmed it was working with the Department for Transport to secure further investment through to 2025 in this year’s Spending Review.
The funding that has been announced is capital investment and Nexus confirmed that it remains in talks with the DfT about a further bailout to support Metro running costs amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Cllr Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council and chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “This is funding that will allow vital modernisation work on Metro’s ageing infrastructure to continue.
“Let me be clear, while I welcome the investment, this represents only a small portion of what is needed to continue upgrading key assets across the Metro over the next five years and Nexus has been working with civil servants for over a year in order to ensure continuity of this vital funding. I expect that additional funding for this important work will be announced later in the year.
“Meanwhile, the Metro remains in dire need of a further financial support to meet its running costs due to the effects of the COVID pandemic.
“Metro is a vital local service and is part of everyday life in our region. We need to ensure the system is kept running for the people of Tyne and Wear and I do urge ministers to confirm an extension of the emergency funding which is set to run out on 4 August.”
VolkerRail carrying out essential track modernisation work at Crossgate viaduct on the Tyne and Wear Metro system in South Tyneside. (Photo: VolkerRail)