Yet another "fine" for Metro operator's sub-standard performance

July 9, 2015 9:07 PM

News is emering that Metro operator DB Regio is to have another £250,000 withheld this quarter from its operating fee, according to a Combined Authority Metro report on penalty clauses being levied for not meeting Metro operational targets . This follows deductions of over £600,00 in 2011 and £500,000 last year. This will not be paid for by fares increases as these are set and collected by Nexus.

Newcastle Liberal Democrat spokesman Cllr Greg Stone commented :

"It's been apparent to passengers for some time that Metro performance hasn't been stellar recently. DB Regio have failed to miss a number of performance targets over time , triggering penalty clauses, and it is widely rumoured that they are unlikely to rebid for the contract when it expires.

"I fear the underlying factor is that the system's rolling stock's serviceability is increasingly an issue. Although the network has seen infrastructure improvements, the number of Metro cars undergoing refurbishment or otherwise going out of service due to faults is putting pressure on the operator's ability to maintain the timetable. Recent problems with the ticket machines are also a concern, but this problem primarily lies with Nexus.

"DB Regio are being held accountable for the failure to meet their agreed service levels, but it's not clear whether another operator would do better given these factors. Whether NECA and Nexus are being held sufficiently accountable for their oversight of Metro performance and the effectiveness of their network management is another question without a clear answer."