Multi million pound funding for Tyne & Wear Metro

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TYNE and Wear Metro will benefit from a £23 million funding boost, it has been announced this afternoon.

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker was at North Shields Metro Station to confirm the funding, which sees Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, granted a total of £93m from the Department of Transport.

The funding will allow Nexus to create around 60 new jobs to deliver projects within its Metro: all change modernisation programme, as well as sustaining hundreds more among engineering and transport contractors.

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “This is a major programme of renewal of the metro infrastructure and will bring real benefits to the people and economy of the North East.

“The money gives Nexus the certainty to plan ahead and deliver the best outcomes for metro users.

“The Department for Transport is determined to support the North East of England in its efforts to deliver better transport for everyone and to cut carbon emissions.”

The Tyne and Wear Metro is Britain’s busiest light rail network outside London, used by 38 million passengers every year and the funding announced today will allow Nexus to deliver key projects between 2013 and 2016.

These include:

- Renewing tracks and trackbeds from Tynemouth to Gateshead, including the busiest section of line through Newcastle city centre

- Completing the refurbishment of the Metro train fleet

- Continuing the refurbishment of 45 stations in total, including stations in the Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside areas

- Introducing smart travel to the Metro with the Pop card, including new ticket machine technology, gate lines and validators

- Starting the system-wide replacement of vital overhead power lines, as well as upgrading communications and signal systems

Ken Mackay, Director of Rail and Infrastructure at Nexus, said: “We are delighted the Government has shown its commitment to Metro modernisation by confirming funding in full, including the conditional element.

“The £93 million we will receive gives us the financial security to create 60 new jobs delivering modernisation on the ground, in addition to the contracts we will offer to leading engineering and transport contractors.

“This commitment from Government is a vote of confidence in the efficient, effective inward investment we are delivering for Tyne and Wear through the Metro: all change programme.”