The Petition of residents of Washington and Sunderland West constituency and the surrounding areas,
Declares that there are inadequate public transport links for residents in Washington to access the rest of the Tyne and Wear area, increasing reliance on personal transport and reducing employment and economic opportunities for the town and its residents.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Transport to seriously explore the feasibility of extending the Tyne and Wear Metro to the town of Washington utilising the old Leamside railway line.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mrs Sharon Hodgson, Official Report, 4 March 2013; Vol. 559, c. 791 .]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:
The Department for Transport is supporting Nexus in delivering an 11 year programme of works to renew and improve the Tyne and Wear Metro. This work is being funded with up to £350 million of grant from DFT and includes refurbishment of the Metrocar fleet, modernisation of 60 stations, introduction of new “smart” ticketing machines, barriers and technologies, and a new communications system. Nexus is also overhauling and maintain structures such as bridges and tunnels, track and overhead power lines, as well as modernising other infrastructure and technology.
Further improvement and expansion of the Tyne and Wear Metro will be considered by Nexus as part of its planning for the next phase of work, for the period after 2022.
I understand that an extension to Washington is one area which may be looked at as part of this. Nexus has begun planning for this. It will include a comprehensive analysis of factors including network integration with land use and other modes, future technologies and funding. The initial work programme to develop an outline business case will take about two years and be subject to local support and development costs being met.