‘Think of the children’ – transport bosses call for scrapping of Sunderland One Direction day Metro strike

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TRANSPORT chiefs have called on Metro and its drivers to halt the planned strike on the day of One Direction’s Sunderland gig.

Tyne & Wear transport agency Nexus has urged the RMT union and Metro operator DB Regio to call in ACAS – the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service – and end the planned action on Wednesday May 28.

Nexus still owns the Metro system, but it is operated by German outfit DB Regio.

Deputy director general of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “I urge the RMT and DB Regio to urgently call in ACAS in order to avoid Wednesday’s strike, which will cause disruption to thousands of passengers. Arbitration provides a process by which disputes of this nature can be resolved without recourse to industrial action.

“I am disappointed that the RMT called industrial action without exploring options like this first.

“Nobody can seriously believe the RMT’s claim that a strike being called on the same day as the One Direction concert was merely a coincidence.

“We should all remember that many of the concert-goers on Wednesday will be children.”

He added: “There is still time for the RMT and DB Regio to resolve this unnecessary dispute amicably so that we can provide a Metro service throughout the day for all of our customers.”

If the strike goes ahead Metro will only be able to provide a limited service during the whole of Wednesday May 28.

But the action will still cause problems for One Direction fans, as well as seeing Metro lose out on increased fare revenue as thousands head to the Stadium of Light.

Nexus has asked DB Regio to run as many trains as possible.