£46m plan to im­prove the Metro

Sunday Sun - - News -

NEXUS is plan­ning to pump £46m into Metro in­fra­struc­ture over the next two years in a bid to im­prove the net­work.

The pub­lic body is ramp­ing up its moderni­sa­tion pro­gramme in the months lead­ing up to the roll-out of new trains.

It’s part of an in­vest­ment drive which started in 2010 and has seen £350m spent on im­prov­ing sta­tions, tracks and over­head lines.

Nexus also con­firmed they are in talks with White­hall to se­cure more cap­i­tal fund­ing for works post-2021.

Metro bosses have warned it will mean a lot of week­end line clo­sures but in­sist it will be worth it in the long run. The 2019 works are ex­pected to in­clude:

- Re­place­ment of two Metro bridges in North Ty­ne­side.

- Track re­place­ment work be­tween Gateshead Sta­dium and Pelaw.

- New rails for the Metro tun­nels be­tween the QEII Metro bridge and Gateshead Sta­dium.

- Over­head line re­newals be­tween Chilling­ham Road and Tynemouth and South Gos­forth and Jes­mond.

- Sta­tion moderni­sa­tion work will be com­pleted at West Monkseaton, Culler­coats, Monkseaton, Shire­moor, Palmersville, Ben­ton, and Long­ben­ton.

Firm dates are yet to be set for most of the work but the ma­jor­ity will take place on Satur­days and Sun­day, min­imis­ing dis­rup­tion for com­muters.

Beyond March 2021, the fu­ture of the fund­ing for Metro im­prove­ments is in doubt but lob­by­ing ef­forts are al­ready un­der way for more cash.

Tobyn Hughes, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Nexus, said: “Our Metro all change in­vest­ment pro­gramme has £46m go­ing into moderni­sa­tion to en­sure that we have a Tyne and Wear Metro sys­tem for many more decades to come.

“Works will fo­cus on the re­newals of tracks, over­head lines and other vi­tal pieces of Metro’s in­fra­struc­ture.”

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