Nexus, operators of the Tyne and Wear Metro, have announced that they have received a further £1.66 million in funding from the government which will help services to be sustained until 19th July. The previous funding package, announced in March, had been for 11 weeks but with this period now expiring the extra funding was needed to allow a full service to continue to run while passenger numbers remain at low levels.
This £1.66 million means that since the start of the pandemic the Tyne and Wear Metro will have received almost £40 million worth of Government support to allow services to continue, initially just for key workers but more recently for additional passengers as restrictions have been eased.
John Fenwick, Director of Finance and Resources at Nexus, said: “This extra financial support is vital to support Metro services while lockdown eases and our customers continue to return. Passenger loadings seen since non-essential retail, outdoor and indoor hospitality re-opened have been really encouraging and the fare revenue that we have been generating has reduced the level of emergency support required from Government. We are doing lots of things to make travelling on the Metro more convenient and as safe as possible, but there is still a gap between the cost of running Metro services and the fare revenue we are generating. The funding will go towards meeting our operating costs, ensuring that a key local transport network is being sustained while it continues to face the biggest challenge in its 41year history.”
Presumably the Tyne and Wear Metro isn’t the only light rail network in England (outside of London) to have receive additional funding but no other information seems to have been released about anywhere else.