A major programme of modernisation on the Tyne and Wear Metro has passed the £300m mark.
The milestone in the Metro all change modernisation programme has been reached following the completion of two major Metro bridge replacement schemes in North Tyneside.
Since 2010, Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has been carrying out the modernisation of Metro’s ageing infrastructure, including tracks, stations and trains, to secure the long-term future of the service, which is used by 36 million passengers a year.
Director of Finance and Resources of Nexus, John Fenwick, said: "One of my first priorities when I joined Nexus almost eleven years ago was to attract the funding necessary to renew Metro's ageing infrastructure. Having managed to invest £300 million since then is incredible.
“The assets we've replaced range from this bridge in North Tyneside to track and overhead line throughout the network, not to mention the introduction of key communications systems as well as our programme of station refurbishment. And the job isn't complete. After securing £337 million from central government for a new fleet of Metrocars we are currently developing a bid for additional funding to continue investing in and improving Metro through to 2025."
Transport Minister, Jesse Norman MP, said: “We are proud to have invested over £300m into the Metro, helping to secure the future of a vital transport network for the North East.
“The huge scale of modernisation, with refurbished stations and tracks, is crucial to our plans to deliver more comfortable, reliable and punctual journeys for passengers. This will be enhanced by our £337m investment into a brand new fleet of Metro trains in the next few years.”
The Metro all change modernisation programme began in March 2010 when the Government allocated Nexus a total of £350m for the project.
The investment in Metro’s infrastructure will continue over the next two years – and Nexus remains in dialogue with the Department for Transport (DfT) about the need to extend the modernisation programme beyond 2021.