Metro gets settlement on price rise

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METRO fares on the Tyne & Wear Metro are set to increase from the beginning of 2012.

From January 1 the single tickets will go up by 10p, which has been capped at a lower level following lobbying by the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority to win support from the government.

The annual MetroSaver will be frozen in price for a fourth year, if renewed online, and the Corporate MetroSavers ticket will also now be frozen.

Season tickets and student passes will go up but by less than was first planned.

The price of a child DaySaver is also frozen at £1.10.

Overall prices will increase by 5.8 per cent.

Chairman of the transport authority, Coun David Wood, said: “As a result of discussions we have won an improved settlement from the government in 2012 that will reduce the impact of fare rises at a time when families are struggling with the cost of living.

“I am pleased the government has listened to the concerns of elected members on the authority and seen the need to assist with funds to alleviate the fare increases.”

Bernard Garner, pictured, director general of Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, added: “The cost of single tickets, student passes and weekly and monthly MetroSavers will all go up by less than previously planned.

“Annual MetroSaver customers who renew online will be paying the same price as in January 2009, which provides terrific value.

“When we recommended new fares to the ITA last month we kept them as low as we could, but we now have extra funds in 2012 to reduce the increase or freeze the price of some key fares.

“Despite this an increase in overall Metro fares are still needed to balance the contribution passengers make with the subsidy the system receives from local and national government.

“This is one-off support from the government which will not be available next year, but it will help hard-pressed families and the economy now, when it is needed.”

More information on the increases is available online at nexus.org.uk