07 September 2007

Improvements agreed for T&W Metro

Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority says it has secured the full £50.2m required to fund the initial phase of a major overhaul of the Metro light rail system. Last month the government announced it would contribute £12.8m towards a £14.3m project to update aging ticket machines on the network and install electronic passenger barriers at stations.

However the PTA and passenger transport executive Nexus now say the rest of the phase one programme - including train, station and structural improvements - are fully funded.

Phase One spending taking place over the next two years will include:
  • £14.3m for 249 new ticket machines accepting coins, notes and cards at all stations, and barriers at 13 stations, mostly funded by a Department for Transport grant.
  • £6.9m improvements to Sunderland station platforms, including a new escalator to street level, funded by saving money through rail service timetable changes between Sunderland and Newcastle.
  • £5m towards a refurbished station for Haymarket, including new lift and escalators - funded from a £20m private development.
  • £3.2m for a new station at Simonside, South Tyneside, to open late 2007 funded by Nexus and the European Community
  • £6.3 to pay for an overhaul of structures such as bridges and tunnels funded from the Nexus capital programme
  • £3m to pay for improvements to Metrocars
  • £17.4m for an overhaul of infrastructure and technology.

Phase Two, starting in 2010, would include modernisation of all Metro stations, the refurbishment of Metrocars, new communication systems, the overhaul of track and overhead lines and maintenance of structures dating back up to 160 years. Phase Three, from 2019, would see new trains and signal systems, among other modernisation projects.
Photo: Trevor S Hall