Today Emma asked the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport when the Government were going to release the money needed to replenish the Tyne and Wear Metro cars which have been in circulation for over 40 years a decade longer than they were intended.
Emma has consistently campaigned for more investment in the Metro. Back in 2015, Emma led a Westminster Hall debate to highlight the state of Metro services in Tyneside and called for urgent investment, citing an ageing fleet as the main problem for regular delays and problems causing daily misery for commuters.
While the Government offered warm words and claimed to recognise the scale of the problem, they are yet to put forward the required investment. Metro operator Nexus and the North East Combined Authority (NECA) have sent an outline business case for investment in a new train fleet to the Government asking for monies in the region of £540m to introduce a new fleet in the early 2020s.
You can read Emma’s Question and the Under Secretary of State’s response here.
Following the debate Emma said,
“The negligence shown towards the Metro is astounding. It was known that the fleet would reach its lifespan by the Millennium yet there has been consistent failure to act. When £5,426 is paid per head a year for every Londoner compared to £223 per head a year for those in the north-east, it is clear the Government are not prepared to invest in our transport infrastructure which is vital to the development of our economy. The Minister’s answer today was not good enough and I will continue to put pressure on him for the right decision to be made.
You can read Emma’s 2015 Westminster Hall debate on Tyne & Wear Metro here