South Shields MP calls for improvements to Metro system
A South Shields MP says more needs to be done to improve the service provided by the Tyne and Wear Metro after commuters endured another nightmare day.
Commuters from South Tyneside saw services between Pelaw and South Shields stopped early on Wednesday evening due to an overhead line fault and Metro staff were still dealing with the problems yesterday morning.
Services were running from Heworth to South Hylton in Sunderland with a 25 minute frequency, while a replacement bus service, the 900, ran between South Shields and Heworth.
Monument in Newcastle to Heworth on the green line and Monument to Jarrow on the yellow lines were off for several hours.
Long queues of people were seen waiting patiently outside Brockley Whins station.
Bosses from Metro owner Nexus have said £20million is being invested in replacing overhead lines.
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck told the Gazette an urgent improvement is needed in the system.
“I’ve campaigned for DB Regio’s contract with Nexus to end for some time as these problems have been happening for years,” she said.
“It won’t be ended until March 2017 but it’s not soon enough.
“We are still using the fleet from the 1980s and although I know that’s not related to the issues today we should have newer trains.
“It has a knock-on effect and I’ve heard from constituents who’ve had their pay docked because they’ve been late for work and students who’ve had to stay over at friends’ homes because they think they
might not get to where they need to be the next day in time because of the Metro.
“If you are using a fleet from the 1980s, you have to replace it.”
A Nexus spokesman said: “We are investing £20million in the replacement of Metro’s overhead lines.
“The work will start in January and last around three years as Nexus upgrades 60km of high voltage power lines right across its infrastructure.
“We are already in discussions with the Government to secure funding for a new fleet of Metro trains.
“We are making a very strong business case for this investment and we welcome the support of local politicians and MPs.
“We apologise to customers for the disruption which has occurred, this was due to the overhead line coming down in the Gateshead Stadium area.”