The local public transport users group welcomes the plan to bring the Metro back into public hands as it will be good for passengers.
We strongly urge the North East Combined Authority to vote to approve the proposal for the Tyne and Wear Metro to be publicly run from 2017.
Our members are clear that the plan by Nexus to take direct control of the Metro would be a real chance to improve the running of the Metro. This is because it would end the split between a private company operating the trains and the public body, Nexus – a split which has lead to many of the problems passengers have faced recently.
We are pleased that the problems, especially delays, causing frustration, anger and stress, and making passengers late for work, appointments and commitments with family and friends, are at last being taken in hand by Nexus and trust our elected representatives will agree this plan. We see that this is the result of pressure from groups like ourselves and many members of the public.
We congratulate Nexus, who are the executive of the Tyne and Wear Councils, for taking the decision to end the DB Regio contract in 2017 instead of renewing as they might have done.
Nexus propose to take the Metro back in-house – full public ownership and operation on all our behalf. This, hopefully, will return the Metro back to the wonderful, much-admired light rail system that was so reliable under Nexus management in the past.
Passengers are demanding urgent investment by Government in the Metro to replace the outdated carriages. The trains are so old they break down frequently and this is now a major cause of delays. We need new trains.
We will press Nexus to bring back cheaper early evening fares, family tickets and more staff to monitor anti-social behaviour, with the savings that will be made from the in-house operation and by the lack of need to create profit to service the private DB contract.
Chair of Tyne & Wear Public Transport Users Group