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Extension of the Tyne and Wear Metro

Volume 594: debated on Friday 20 March 2015

The Petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that the extension of the Tyne and Wear Metro to Washington is a vital, yet missing, part of the region's transport system, and further that such an extension would make a significant contribution to the economic development of the town.

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 2015; Vol. 593, c. 1046.]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

My Department 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 45 stations, and new communications systems. Nexus is also overhauling and renewing structures such as bridges and tunnels, track and overhead power lines, as well as modernising other infrastructure and technology which has recently included investment in new ‘smart’ ticket machines, gates at key stations and back office equipment, part funded using a further tranche of Government grant amounting to around £15 million.

Further improvements, such as replacement of the fleet of Metrocars, new signalling and the possible expansion of the network will be considered by Nexus and the North East Combined Authority (NECA) as part of its planning for the next phase of work, for the period after 2021. This work has commenced and in 2014 Nexus published its Metro 2030 strategy document for public consultation. This identified as a potential option an extension from Pelaw to South Hylton via Washington, with the potential to carry up to 4 million passengers a year by 2030.

The Government have invited the NECA to present a business case for future investment in the Tyne and Wear Metro, including a new fleet of modern trains and potential extensions to the network and, as we have done during the current phase of investment, we will work with them to develop these plans.