Thursday, August 10, 2017
Labour wrangling over Metro investment
It seems as though the Labour controlled NECA is intent on pulling out of investment in the Tyne and Wear Metro if the government pushes ahead with the option of a PFI deal for new trains. The aging fleet needs replacement as it is 40 years old and is approaching the end of its shelf-life. NECA has written to the government threatening to walk away from a PFI deal, even though it was the system of choice for the Labour government. I don't disagree with the sentiment. PFI deals have been expensive and have left the taxpayer with on-going bills. My preference is for the government to invest the capital directly in the system. But the world is what it is. Sometimes we have to live with decisions that aren't to our liking. The Metro is of crucial strategic importance to the region. If it grinds to a halt because the Tory government and Labour council leaders are wrangling over the form the investment should take, the travelling public in the North East will not be very forgiving.