Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Metro Operator 'Fails to Deliver' on Its Contract

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Metro Operator 'Fails to Deliver' on Its Contract

Article excerpt

Byline: Will Metcalfe Local government reporter will.metcalfe@trinitymirror.com

POOR Metro performance should see the network's operator stripped of its contract following a catalogue of errors a council boss has claimed.

Last year Nexus, which owns the Metro network, accused DB Regio the firm that runs the service, of acting in a "deliberately misleading" manner over preparations for the service which saw thousands of people delayed ahead of the Great North Run on September 13.

A report to the North East Combined Authority (NECA) said the firm had an "inability" to convince drivers to work September 13 with a series of failings with power lines and train delays creating a perfect storm.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council and the transport lead at NECA, has said the firm's contract should not be renewed in April 2017 following consistently poor performance.

At present there is a break option in the contract next year with the potential for it to run until 2019.

Coun Forbes said: "The Metro is vital to life in the North East, and over the last few months the performance of operator DB Regio has simply not been good enough.

"There are signs of improvement, but DB's overall performance has left passengers with concerns about the future of the system, concerns shared by myself, the rest of the combined authority and staff at Nexus.

"Nexus is set to levy more than PS477,000 worth of penalty payments against DB this year on behalf of understandably disgruntled passengers, but that should only be one part of our attempts to resolve this.

"The contract could go on until 2019, but I am determined not to wait for three years before acting on those concerns, especially as on recent performance those could potentially be three very frustrating years."

Already in 2016 there have been a number of breakdowns with the service suspended from January 12 to 15 from Pelaw to Brockley Whins after a serious power failure. …

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