Metro secures a further £7.6m of Government support to increase services on the network

A Metro cube
26 May 2020

The Tyne and Wear Metro has secured £7.6m of financial support from the Government to increase the number of services on the network as lockdown measures start to ease.

The Department for Transport confirmed funding in announcement at the weekend (May 23).

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, welcomed the extra funding and said the money would sustain services until August.

It will enable Metro to return to its normal, frequent timetable, providing customers with a Covid-secure environment as they travel for work, shopping, hospital visits or to stay in touch with loved ones.

This builds on an initial £8.6m of emergency support that was announced on May 1, meaning that Government has now committed a total of £16.2m for Metro to support key workers and those who need it for essential journeys during the Coronavirus emergency.

Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “This new financial support will allow us to run a full Metro timetable and maximise the room we have for social distancing on the system.

“It means that we can meet all of Metro’s running costs up until August at this challenging time, where Metro fare revenue has fallen significantly.

“As lockdown measures are gradually lifted, we will continue playing our part in supporting the local economy, but we are conscious that social distancing measures mean that it will be a long time before we return to normal passenger numbers.

“We will continue to talk to the Government about the need for additional financial support for the remainder of the year at the very least.”

Cllr Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council and Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: "We welcome this funding which, in addition to the amount already pledged last month, will allow Metro to run a full service until August.

"However, we will continue talks with Government over support for Metro for the remainder of the year as we look to keep a full service running to maximise space on trains, allowing passengers to observe social distancing guidelines as lockdown measures are gradually eased.”
 

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Director of Finance and Resources at Nexus John Fenwick

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