Sharon Hodgson has written to the new Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, calling on him to support the recent decision by the North East Combined Authority (NECA) to support extension of the Tyne and Wear Metro into areas of the region currently not served by the Metro, such as Washington.
The decision by the NECA has been welcomed by Sharon as part of her campaign to see the Tyne and Wear Metro extended into Washington – the fourth largest town in England not served by a rail station.
As part of her campaign, Sharon has repeatedly called on the previous Coalition Government and the current Conservative Government to support vital transport infrastructure in the region, seen through submitting three petitions in the last Parliament and one during this Parliament last July on behalf of residents and in her speech in the Budget debates earlier this year where she called on the former Chancellor, George Osborne, to seriously invest in North East transport infrastructure as part of his Northern Powerhouse project.
In Sharon’s letter to the Transport Secretary she raised the long-standing history of rail in the region, and specifically within the constituency of Washington and Sunderland West with the Bowes Railway Museum, which is based on part of one of the first railway routes in the country which was built by George Stephenson and the need to support the decisions made by local decision makers to invest in local transport infrastructure, whereby extending the Metro would allow the much-needed economic growth in the North East to be realised and better transport access to Tyne and Wear’s two city hubs, Sunderland and Newcastle.
Following her letter to the Transport Secretary, Sharon said:
“It was very welcome when last week news broke that the North East Combined Authority was considering Metro extension plans, including into Washington, and that this has now been fully backed at a full meeting of the Combined Authority this week.
“My constituents have made their voice clear that they want to see the Metro extended into Washington and time and time again, I have raised this on their behalf with the previous Coalition Government and the current Tory Government as something vital to the Government’s Northern Powerhouse project.
“Now is an important time for the Government to act and support the business case set out by the NECA which will be put forward to the Transport Secretary in the coming months and I hope he will deliver for the region. As always, I will be continuing to push on this important matter for my constituents at every available opportunity in Parliament.”
You can read Sharon's letter to the Transport Secretary here.
Sharon raised extension of the Metro into Washington during her contribution to the Budget debates. You can read her speech here.
If you support the extension of the Metro into Washington, you can sign Sharon's petition here.