Nexus, the operator of the Tyne and Wear Metro, has announced it has secured another £13.1m of Government funding to help it operate services to April 2022 as passenger numbers continue to recover from lockdown.
Nexus said that the long-term help was welcome as it expected its recovery to be gradual after lockdown has ended.
The Metro’s running cost will be covered by the money through to the 5th April 2022 whilst fare revenue is majorly affected by the pandemic.
Director of Finance and Resources at Nexus, John Fenwick, said: “The longer-term financial support for Metro is really welcome and it will help us to sustain services through to April 2022 while the recovery continues.
“We have recently seen customer numbers on Metro return to between 60% and 70% of pre-pandemic levels. This further, substantial tranche of funding from the Government shows that they recognise customer levels remain depressed and that it will take time to get back to normal.
“The funding will go towards meeting our operating costs, ensuring that Metro, a key local transport network, is sustained while it continues to face the biggest challenge in its history.”
Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “This funding is welcome news which will ensure Metro continues to provide vital public transport services for passengers across the North East. I’m pleased that this funding takes us up to April 2022 as passenger levels continue to recover as restrictions ease, however, we will continue to discuss with Government the need for a longer term sustainable funding package for public transport.”
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