MTR Rail has withdrawn from bidding to run the stations and trains of the Tyne and Wear Metro system, according to the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union.
The move leaves just three bidders - DB Regio Tyne and Wear, Serco-NedRailways Metro and incumbent Nexus to bid for the lucrative contracts, which has £300M of government money committed.
Newcastle MP Jim Cousins has tabled a motion in the House of Commons saying that: The tendering process can play no useful purpose and that the best interests of passengers will be served by the Metro remaining as a unified railway in the public sector, where every penny of funds invested is spent on improving passenger services.”
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “The withdrawal of MTR Rail shows just how shaky this whole privatisation plan really is. It’s pressure from the campaign which has sent out a signal to the private sector that Tyne and Wear Metro is not going to be sold off for a fast buck and that they will have a fight on their hands every step of the way.
“The Nexus passenger transport executive and the Government should pull this privatisation plan before more money is wasted and before irreparable damage is done to Britain’s most successful railway in the name of greed and profit.”