Metro bosses draw up proposals for new lines in borough

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PROPOSALS are being drawn up that could lead to the creation of two new Metro lines in North Tyneside.

Officials at the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority were due to meet today to discuss the possible expansion of the Metro network.

Members were recommended to agree to a new two-year study into potential new routes for the Metro system.

A total of nine routes are being proposed, including two in North Tyneside – one from Four Lane Ends to Killingworth, and the other from Northumberland Park to Percy Main via Cobalt Business Park and Silverlink Retail Park.

The potential changes could also see street trams and special bus routes introduced.

Reports drawn up after the two-year study will be used to make a business case to put to the government by 2014 as any network expansion scheme would require state funding running into hundreds of millions of pounds.

Nexus director-general Bernard Garner said: “The benefits that Metro delivers to the economic and social life of Tyne and Wear are clear, and the current Metro reinvigoration programme will ensure that the existing network will be around for many decades delivering these benefits.

“But if Tyne and Wear is to develop its full potential, then Metro needs to be extended to other parts of Tyne and Wear where it would similarly benefit the economic and social life of the region.

“This is not only a study into the potential networks of future decades but also the technologies that might suit them best.

“These are long-term ambitions, but we need to start development and assessment programmes now so that we can make the funding case to ministers at the appropriate time.”

Last year, Nexus was awarded £300m by the government to upgrade the Metro service.