Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Call for Answers after Days of Metro Misery

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Call for Answers after Days of Metro Misery

Article excerpt

Byline: Sonia Sharma Reporter

PRESSURE on Metro bosses is continuing to grow after a second council called for action following two days of misery for passengers.

Thousands of passengers were left frustrated after the system ground to a halt on Sunday with trains stranded at a Newcastle depot after a major electrical fault at the South Gosforth substation.

Sunday's network failure coincided with the first sell-out of Newcastle Falcons' Kingston Park in almost 10 years, as well the Freedom of the Tyne event in the city centre.

By 6pm, Nexus had managed to get some trains back on the tracks, running a reduced service between Pelaw and Benton, and Pelaw and Regent Centre.

However, there were further problems on the network on Monday.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, has met with Metro bosses and the failure was raised.

A spokesperson said: "Like all North East Combined Authority (NECA) leaders, Coun Forbes has regular catch-ups with the managing director for transport operations at Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, at which Metro performance is raised.

"Issues from Sunday were discussed at this week's meeting, and will be raised further at future NECA meetings."

The news comes as Councillor Michael Mordey, portfolio holder for city services at Sunderland Council, called for answers following a "catastrophic" day.

In a letter to Mr Hughes Coun Mordey said: "I'm very concerned by what can only be classed as a catastrophic failure of the Metro system and I'm seeking urgent assurances from Nexus as to what caused such devastating disruption and what measures they are putting in place to prevent a repeat.

"The complete suspension of the service in the Sunderland area for the whole day led to severe inconvenience for public transport users in the city, resulting in people being stranded and the city being cut off from national and international transport connections at Newcastle Central Station and Newcastle International Airport. …

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