LONG-term plans to extend the Metro to Cramlington are being put forward by a new political party in Newcastle.
The Newcastle Community First Party proposed extending the Metro service in their manifesto for the upcoming local elections.
The political party has set itself a long-term goal of campaigning for an extension of the Metro to the west of Newcastle and north to Cramlington in order to significantly cut traffic on the roads.
In their manifesto they said: “We believe the council should be working with Northumberland and other neighbouring authorities to campaign for future Government funds to invest in the Metro.
“The current Metro modernisation falls short of the extension of the service that many communities in Newcastle and beyond are crying out for.”
However, members of the party have said this is not something they see happening in the short term but said they believe they must start now to build support in the community and get councils working together for this to be possible.
Jason Smith, leader of the party, said: “It would make it easier for people to access jobs in Newcastle. It is important to the economy. The bus access to Cramlington is few and far between after 6pm and the train services are also few and far between. There are a few in the morning and night and the bus service needs to access the A1 and that creates problems.
“Cramlington is an area which is close to Newcastle but not served by the Metro and one of the things I have pushed for is extending the Metro service.”
Jason, 37, of Newcastle’s West End, launched the party on February 14 and it was registered with the Electoral Commission on February 18.
“I know at the present time we are not going to get any money for it, but I think it is about putting the idea out there for when there is some money available.
“There is a demand there for it,” said the dad-of-two.
“I have spoken to a lot of people from Blyth and Cramlington who have expressed a desire for it.
“A lot of people in that area work in the city centre or somewhere around there and the only real option for them is to use the car and this clogs up the roads,” he added.
A Nexus spokesman said: “Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, is investing £385m over the next decade in modernising the existing system, using money secured from the Government.
“This will ensure Metro is around for decades to come and offers a better experience for the customer as they travel through stations and on trains. Without this investment Metro would decline and fail in the years ahead.
“Any plan to extend Metro would have to be funded by Government as it would be likely to cost hundreds of millions of pounds.
“By securing the future of the existing system we are in a better position to bid to Government for possible future extensions, should funding become available in the years ahead.
“We regularly review possible routes for extensions in and around Tyne & Wear so we are in a good position to do this if the opportunity arose.”