Plans to modernise the Tyne and Wear Metro service are to be significantly stalled, after the government announced to cut the budget by £33 million.

The money was part of an overall £389m investment of modernisation which started in 2010 and is to be completed by 2021. However, the cuts to the scheme have raised many questions about the Chancellor’s so-called ‘northern powerhouse’ and where exactly it is on his list of priorities.

New tracks and track beds are just some of what the money is being spent on as well as the construction of overhead lines and the refurbishment of many Metro stations in Tyne and Wear. As of now, there are twenty stations left to refurbish and they will be completed before the scheme is over.

Speaking about the £33 million cut to the scheme, the leader of Newcastle City Council, Nick Forbes, said: “The government tells us that investment in transport infrastructure across the north is a top priority – but in light of a £33 million cut in investment in the Metro we need to take a reality check.”