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Nexus takes back operation of Tyne and Wear Metro from DB Regio

Nexus has resumed responsibility for the operation of services on the Tyne and Wear Metro this week, taking back control from operator DB Regio, part of the Arriva Group, who had run services on behalf of Nexus since April 2010.

Starting from Saturday 1 April, Nexus, the public body who deliver the transport services for the North East Combined Authority (NECA), will now run the trams in the area until at least 2019 after DB Regio’s contract expired.

This week’s development is confirmation of news reported by RTM a year ago that the NECA had accused DB Regio of ‘letting down’ passengers, as the authority said they would not be extending the operator’s contract past its end date of 31 March 2017.

It also follows news last month that Transport for West Midlands – the authority who handle transport for the West Midlands Combined Authority – would also take back responsibility for its own metro service, Midland Metro, next year.

Managing director of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said that he was looking forward to the next few years as the authority looked to improve services on the metro for its customers.

“Nexus will be directly managing Metro operations following the end of our contact with DB Regio,” he added.

“The most important first step is to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible for our employees and customers alike, with the trains continuing to operate safely throughout the process.”

Hughes added that Nexus would continue to carry on the hard work that had already been done to improve train reliability and punctuality.

These improvements will be funded and delivered through the £1bn worth of funds that were approved in July last year by the NECA that included £550m to expand the metro’s fleet and services.

The first of these works was completed last December when it was announced that a £3m programme of tunnel track replacements had been finished on the network.

“The next few years promise to be truly exciting as we look to secure funding for a new train fleet, and at ways to expand the network,” said Hughes.

“The current fleet has served us well over the last four decades, but now is the right time for it to be replaced. We estimate a cost of around half a billion pounds to deliver the new trains that we need.  We will know more about the fate of our bid over the summer.”

He finished by thanking DB Regio for its work operating the Metro over the last seven years, as well as all the staff who had ensured the smooth running of tram serices over that time.

“It has been a period during which we have together made unprecedented investment in the system and managed a number of unforeseen challenges,” said Hughes.

Top Image: Phil Thirkell

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