To: Secretary of State for Transport

Release grant funding for new Metro trains now!

22/11/17 We won!

We've just listened to the budget with great interest and heard the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, say the words we've been asking him to: "we’ll fund the replacement of the 40-year-old rolling stock on the Tyne and Wear Metro at a total investment of £337million." We've checked with Nexus and it seems that our demands have been listened to - the funding will be a direct government grant and not the PFI deal we had feared.

We'd like to thank all of you for signing our petition and helping to put pressure on the government to release this funding. This is a victory for all of you. We will be watching closely to understand the terms of this funding, and to ensure that it is delivered on time to give us the new trains we so desperately need. We will also be working with Nexus to ensure that new trains, when they do come, will be up to the standard we require.

Announcement here: https://twitter.com/hmtreasury/status/933320121665409024

Release grant funding for new Metro trains now!

Tyne and Wear Metro trains are in desperate need of replacement. Tyne and Wear Public Transport Users Group are calling on the government to commit to funding new trains directly instead of forcing North East councils to take out costly PFI deals to buy trains through private companies.

Why is this important?

The Tyne and Wear Metro was once the jewel in the crown of public transport in the North East, the first modern light rail system outside of London. Now the trains are almost 40 years old, are increasingly unreliable, and are causing frequent delays and disruptions to passenger who rely on them. They urgently need replacing with modern stock and, if done correctly, the replacement could transform the operation of the system with huge economic benefits for the region.

New trains will costs around £435 million. Other rail systems, such as Crossrail or Manchester Metrolink, have seen their new trains funded by central government grants. Nexus, who runs the Metro, have been told that funding for new trains in the North East will be from one of two models: either a government grant or a Private Finance Initiative (PFI). The Treasury will decide which option and could do so by November.

Tyne and Wear Public Transport Users Group are calling on the Secretary of State for Transport to commit to funding new trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro through a government grant, as has happened elsewhere in the country. Forcing councils in the North East to enter into a PFI contract will ensure an expensive, inflexible, and complex deal for the taxpayer. This will tie the region into a contract for as long as 35 years, and could jeopardise ambitions to extend the Metro network to new destinations. This would be a disaster for our region.

Tyne and Wear

Reasons for signing

  • The engineers do a pretty good job of keeping the trains moving and looking good but the trains are 37 years old and need replacing for the North East to have an effective and competitive infrastructure
  • Disruptions happen on a daily basis, and result in lost productivity for local business (unless you happen to be a taxi driver!). People have lost jobs through being late, and most regular users have to allow extra time for their journey every day. Rolling stock is over 40 years old, and the region needs serious investment in public transport. If Birmingham can get funding, why not here?
  • The Metro service is vital to Tyne and Wear. We should not be using PFI for this as it will cost twice much more in the long run.

Updates

2017-11-22 14:13:44 +0000
Success badge small

Petition is successful with 3,709 signatures

2017-11-21 09:59:50 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2017-11-14 13:20:57 +0000

500 signatures reached

2017-09-18 13:25:12 +0100

100 signatures reached

2017-09-15 23:17:55 +0100

50 signatures reached

2017-09-15 19:33:47 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-09-15 17:52:39 +0100

10 signatures reached