Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Strikes Led Us off the Rails

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Strikes Led Us off the Rails

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Young

Metro bosses battling to attract more passengers blamed disruption caused by strikes as the major factor today after they failed to hit their target.

Nexus, which runs the Metro, launched a campaign last year to increase passenger journeys by 2.3 million to 39 million after the railway plunged more than pounds 8m into the red.

Figures out today reveal that, although journeys have risen by 3.6%, Nexus fell one million short of the target.

Bosses praised the efforts of staff but said strikes earlier this year had cost them between 500,000 and 750,000 lost journeys. A quiet Christmas period also hit numbers.

The figures were revealed today as Government spending watchdogs highlighted losses on Britain's light railways, including the Metro, and said these are discouraging private investment in new lines.

The report comes at a time when Nexus is hoping to persuade the Government to back the pounds 1.5bn Orpheus Project, which includes new Metro street tram links and bus routes. …

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