METRO: Loan is not the answer

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Our Metro trains are breaking down on a regular basis because they are nearly 40 years old.

They were refurbished, but any replacement part needs to be specially hand-made.

The government has offered a Public Finance Initiative loan. Our councils have been told they may have to borrow money for new Metro carriages instead of a direct grant.

This loan would take 30 years to pay back at local level at huge interest rates, which could mean cuts in other public services.

The public will not own the trains so there may be more delays and breakdowns on the Metro service.

Whatever way you look at it, we have a rail service that is not on track for the passengers who rely upon it, due to current government policy.

Help us make policy on public transport at our meeting on Thursday, November 30, from 5pm to 7pm, at Whitley Bay Library. Please sign our petition to oppose the Public Financing Initiative at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/government-funding-for-tyne-and-wear-metro

Vicki Gilbert

Chairman,Tyne and Wear Public Transport Users Group