Wearside MP urges Transport Secretary to back Metro extensions plans

MP Sharon Hodgson.

MP Sharon Hodgson.

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A Wearside MP has written to new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, urging him to support plans to extend the Metro.

Washington and Sunderland West Sharon Hodgson is a long-time advocate of using the old Leamside Line to extend the system to Washington.

A stretch of the Leamside Railway Line.

A stretch of the Leamside Railway Line.

Now she is calling on the Secretary of State to back the North East Combined Authority (NECA) in its support for extending the Metro.

“It was very welcome when last week news broke that the North East Combined Authority was considering Metro extension plans, including into Washington, and that this has now been fully backed at a full meeting of the Combined Authority this week,” she said.“My constituents have made their voice clear that they want to see the Metro extended into Washington and time and time again, I have raised this on their behalf with the previous Coalition Government and the current Tory Government as something vital to the Government’s Northern Powerhouse project.

“Now is an important time for the Government to act and support the business case set out by the NECA which will be put forward to the Transport Secretary in the coming months and I hope he will deliver for the region.

“As always, I will be continuing to push on this important matter for my constituents at every available opportunity in Parliament.”

Now is an important time for the Government to act and support the business case set out by the NECA which will be put forward to the Transport Secretary in the coming months and I hope he will deliver for the region.

Sharon Hodgson

Mrs Hodgson has repeatedly called on the Government to support vital transport infrastructure in the region, submitting three petitions in the last Parliament and one during last July and calling on former Chancellor George Osborne to invest in her speech in the Budget debates earlier this year.

Her letter to the new Secretary of State highlights the fact that residents in Washington do not have access to the Metro despite paying for it through their council tax.

Connecting the town to the system would be ‘transformational’ for Washington but also provide an economic boost across Newcastle and Sunderland, says the letter.