On 20th July 2017 in the House of Lords Baroness Quin asked the Government “what are their priorities for transport investment in the North East of England over the next two years”. The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, the proposed expansion of the Tyne and Wear Metro by the North East Combined Authority will provide very important greater access for rural towns and villages and opportunities for local rail integration. How will the Government support the North East Combined Authority to make this planned extension a reality? I will be grateful to hear from the Minister.
Lord Callanan: As I mentioned in my earlier answer to the noble Baroness, Lady Quin, we are currently in discussions with Nexus regarding its proposals for new rolling stock. DfT and Treasury officials continue to work with Nexus to understand the business case for the replacement of the current fleet and to explore all funding options. As I have also mentioned, we are currently supporting the Metro with a capital grant of £317 million. The local growth fund is providing £2.5 million for the refurbishment of the Metro stop at Newcastle Central Station and the operational costs are supported by a revenue grant of £203 million over the nine years. I am aware that there are proposals to expand the Metro and I can confirm that officials from my department are in discussions with Nexus officials to see how this can best be accomplished.