Metro delays highlight need for investment, says Sunderland MP

Wearsiders faced hours of Metro misery '“on the day a £20million upgrade to the transport system was announced.

Friday, 25th November 2016, 8:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 9:29 am
Metro service disruptions at Brockley Whins

Services between Newcastle’s Monument and Brockley Whins were suspended yesterday morning, causing commuter chaos for many.

A shuttle service was later running between South Hylton and Brockley Whins before passengers then had to use replacement buses to complete onward journeys.

Metro service disruptions at Brockley Whins

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By mid-morning, services were running between South Hylton and Heworth to a 25-minute frequency – but a stretch of line between Monument and Heworth remained closed through last night’s rush-hour, causing more problems for people trying to get home.

The problems came on the day Metro operators Nexus said it is to invest £20million in upgrading the system’s overhead lines.

Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott welcomed the news but said more investment as needed: “The inconvenience experienced by so many Metro passengers yesterday highlights why investment is so desperately needed to modernise the system.

“The £20million upgrade of the overhead power lines is welcome but further investment is required if passengers are ever going to receive the reliable service they deserve.

Metro service disruptions at Brockley Whins

Bridget Phillipson has called for a fairer nationwide deal for public transport cash. The Houghton and Sunderland South MP held a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament this week to press for the Government to ease the North-South divide in funding.

Ms Phillipson called on the government to support Lords’ amendments to the Bus Services Bill to allow transport authorities such as Nexus to introduce London-style franchising of bus services and for Nexus to be given the funding to upgrade the Tyne and Wear Metro and extend Metro-style services across Wearside, including to Doxford International Business Park.