Political leaders must step in to help solve Metro chaos
As Metro passengers face another day of replacement bus services between Heworth and Brockley Whins, Wearside Lib Dems have called on political leaders to step in to get a grip on the situation.
Campaigners want the North East Combined Authority – responsible for transport services in Tyne and Wear – and the Department for Transport to provide any emergency support that might be needed to provide alternative transport between Sunderland and Newcastle, after replacement bus services didn't turn up in snowy conditions this morning, leaving passengers stranded.
Milfield Lib Dem campaigner Niall Hodson said:
"Commuters between Sunderland and Newcastle are having to put up with unacceptable delays and disruption for the second time in two months. When many Wearside commuters' tickets have gone up in price by nearly 12 percent this year this is unacceptable.
“Back in November, the Combined Authority’s Transport Sub-Committee heard a report that criticised DB Regio’s running of the Tyne and Wear Metro system, and yet two months on there is no sign anything is changing. If Nexus and DG Regio can't get a grip on the situation then political leaders should step in to make sure people can get to work in the morning.
"If local councils, the North East Combined Authority, and the Department for Transport can offer support to improve communication with Metro customers, to help Network Rail and Nexus fix the cabling problems, and to provide more – and more reliable – replacement bus services then they must do so as a matter of urgency. They cannot continue to complain on the sidelines about a situation for which they are responsible."
Notes to editors
The performance of DB Regio’s running of the Metro system was discussed at a meeting of the NECA Transport (Tyne and Wear) Sub-Committee on 24th November 2015. Minutes of the meeting can be found here: TWSC 24 November 2015, Agenda Pack.pdf
Details of actual and percentage fare increases for all Metro and Tyne & Wear-wide tickets (which came into force on 2nd January 2016) are available on pages 71 – 75 of the same document.
The committee was comprised of:
· Cllr Michael Mordey (Sunderland City Council, Labour – Hendon Ward)
· Cllr John McElroy (Gateshead Council, Labour – Chowdene Ward)
· Cllr Joyce McCarty (Newcastle City Council, Labour – Wingrove Ward)
· Cllr Gladys Hobson (South Tyneside, Labour – West Park Ward)
· Cllr John Harrison (North Tyneside – Labour, Howdon Ward)