We recently brought the news that Nexus were concerned that without a major input of extra cash they would not be able to operate the service at the current levels (Tyne and Wear Metro, ferries and buses) beyond 2021 but now the latest update, as reported in the local media in the northeast, says they have now revaluated their pension surplus which could give an extra £3.4million a year and thus reduce the need to hit the reserves. If this does happen it is said that it will be 2022 that a review of services would be needed.
Whilst you may think it wouldn’t be ideal to use pension surplus funds for this purpose (there are normally a number of stories of unforeseen pension deficits around) Nexus’ financial team seem confident they will be able to use this cash to avoid the significant use of the overall reserve in both 2020/21 and 2021/22 and enabling the current services to continue for at least this period.
It is also hoped that this extra period of breathing space will allow Nexus to come up with a more permanent funding programme to keep the Tyne and Wear Metro (and other Nexus controlled public transport) running to the required levels beyond 2022.
Discussions are likely to continue behind the scenes to secure funding with central government likely to be asked to support.