North Tyneside councilors are to request NEXUS install manned ticket barriers at Cullercoats and Tynemouth metro stations in an effort to tackle anti-social behaviour. The labor group passed a motion last night and added an amendment to the original Tory motion to write to Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan asking her to increase NEXUS’s budget to allow for investments in such barriers.
The original motion, put forward by conservative councillors, was to ask NEXUS to install ticket barriers before summer 2023 and to ensure these were manned at peak anti-social times.
On the original motion, Deputy Mayor Carl Johnson said: “The Labor group notes that anti-social behavior on both the metro and the wider borough is a priority for our residents. That is why we place extra resources in the team in the protection team, why we pushed for NEXUS to keep extra security on the metro and created a multi-agency anti-social behavior task force.
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“As part of the task force, we had operation coast watch running this summer, which involved council staff, police, and members of NEXUS security and other staff over the stations and the wider coast.
“I do absolutely agree with the premise of the motion though, we need to do more to tackle ASB and I do think part of that could be ticket barriers and not just in Tynemouth”.
The labor group then moved to add several amendments to the original Tory motion. These included writing to the Transport Secretary for more funding as well as noting “the conservative government have cut the NEXUS capital renewals program which would be used to fund investment into ticket barriers
Conservative Tynemouth councilor Lewis Bartoli said: “I don’t think this is a motion that needed an amendment, the idea of some government bashing seems to do nothing but politicize what I think was a sensible motion all councilors could have agreed to.
Despite the tory group voting against the amendment they later voted for the substantive motion. Tory councilor for Cullercoats, Linda Arkley, could not attend the meeting due to illness.
A Nexus spokesperson said: “Working with the police, the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, youth workers, and North Tyneside Council we are reducing anti-social behavior and fare evasion on Metro.
“We have significantly increased the number of customer service teams on the network and earlier this year we introduced a dedicated Metro security team. The success of the collaborative approach with local authorities has seen a significant reduction in anti-social behavior on the Metro during the summer months.
“Gatelines have a role to play in reinforcing the good work thankfully our employees do. The Government funded the gatelines that we have at 13 of the busiest stations now, and we welcome the support of Norma Redfearn, the elected Mayor for North Tyneside, in writing to the Transport Secretary to ask for more investment in Metro modernization schemes including gate lines .”