North East transport chiefs are preparing to submit a bid for up to £480million for a range of projects to upgrade infrastructure.
And this includes the dualling of tracks in the borough between Bede and Pelaw stations, which as well as improving reliability of services could also make the addition of new stops possible.
“I am grateful for support in terms of supporting the need for the Metro track dualling on South Tyneside,” said Coun Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council.
“Without this service improvements can’t happen on the rest of the network, it is a crucial one for South Tyneside, and indeed for Gateshead.
Angry patient trashed doors at South Tyneside District Hospital after falling asleep and missing treatment
The 16 places where most crime was reported across South Tyneside in June
Extension plans rejected for South Shields home
Man grew his own cannabis supply to help cope with back pain
‘It could have been much worse’ – see pictures of fire devastation at Hebburn home
“I thank colleagues [from other North East councils] for their support and I await the early new year, when the government will make a decision on the applications.”
Coun Malcolm was speaking at a meeting of the North East Combined Authority’s (NECA) Leadership Board, which he also chairs.
The combined authority, which also includes County Durham, Sunderland and Gateshead, as well as South Tyneside, is preparing an application to the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, due to be submitted by the end of November.
According to a report for the panel, this will be worth between £430 – 480million and include projects to improve ‘public transport, cycling and walking networks’, park and ride facilities in Durham and Follingsby and improvements at Sunderland Railway Station – as well as Metro track dualling in South Tyneside.
Previous reports on the potential future of the network have highlighted problems caused by single track stretches in South Tyneside.
As well as hampering repair and recovery attempts when trains break down or power lines fail, this also prevents new stations being added on existing routes due to the increase this would cause to journey times.
Suggested solutions to this in the past have included converting freight lines serving the Jarrow oil terminal to allow Metro trains to run on them.
Next year Metro operator Nexus is due to announce the winner of a contract to build its new fleet of trains.