Washington Metro petition tabled in Parliament

Sharon Hodgson MP with young campaigner Adam Robson.
Sharon Hodgson MP with young campaigner Adam Robson.
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A TEENAGER joined calls for the Tyne and Wear Metro to be extended to Washington, when he travelled to Westminster to hand over a petition with almost 1,600 signatures.

Sixteen-year-old Adam Robson visited the capital last week to hand over a print-out of his online petition to Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson.

Now Mrs Hodgson has submitted it to Government, calling for the examination of a feasibility study into the proposals.

The fresh petition – the third Mrs Hodgson has tabled since 2012 – closely follows the publication of plans by Nexus for the future of the Metro network, including three stations in Washington, as well as an announcement from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership that they will be compiling a business case for the required investment over the coming months.

Mrs Hodgson said: “This is the third petition I’ve handed in now in as many years, so I hope that at the very least Ministers and officials at the Department for Transport are aware that this will not go away, and, if anything, the people of Washington are ever more convinced that being connected to the Metro is vital to the town’s future success.

“We’re much further forward locally than we were when I handed in the first petition in 2012, with Nexus laying out how the plans would work and the LEP committing to putting together a business case for them.

“I’m hoping that this momentum will build and build, and that Washington residents will continue to add their voices to the campaign.”

Adam’s petition is still online and collecting signatures at http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/department-for-transport-extend-the-tyne-and-wear-metro-into-washington

He writes: “This is important as Washington is a large town – 60,000 approximately – nestled between both the cities of Newcastle and Sunderland and yet has no rail connection to either of them. This would help reduce the car dependency of the town as well as help reduce congestion elsewhere.”

Earlier this year, Tyne and Wear transport executive Nexus said it wanted to significantly extend the network, which would mean the introduction of a circular route connecting Pelaw, Washington, South Hylton, Sunderland and East Boldon, formed by linking the disused Leamside line and the former Sunderland to Durham rail line west of South Hylton, with a diversion into the town centre.