North East transport bosses call for government to extend funding for region's public transport

The incident which caused Mr Childs's death involved an Arriva bus. Stock photograph.
Copyright: PA
Credit: PA

North East transport bosses are calling for the government to extend emergency funding support for the region's public transport.

Government funding to cover local bus service losses, while passenger numbers remain below pre-pandemic levels, will be withdrawn in April.

The chair of the North East joint transport committee, Councillor Martin Gannon says:

"The government has been generous throughout the whole of the covid pandemic with huge support both to the metro and to bus operators.

"They say from March that covid is over but the evidence, in terms of bus usage, and metro usage says that's not the case. We're still suffering massive declines in income so the solution is very straightforward - The government needs to step up to the plate and continue the financial support they've been giving throughout covid and continue beyond March.

"Otherwise it'll be catastrophic not just for the North East of England. This is a national problem."

Tyne and Wear Metro operator Nexus, which funds 10% of local services using government funding, is bracing itself for cuts and has announced a £4.5m rescue package to reduce the anticipated impact.

However, they say that they expect services in the rest of Tyne and Wear to undergo cuts later in the spring.

ITV News Tyne Tees have approached the government for comment.