Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 13:25 UK

Unions protest over Metro future

Metro sign
Nexus say the Metro will not be privatised

Trade Unions are protesting against what they claim are plans to "privatise" the Tyne and Wear Metro.

Transport operator Nexus has invited businesses to St James's Park in Newcastle to discuss its future.

But members of the RMT and other unions are to protest at the ground while the discussions are on-going on Tuesday.

Nexus denied it planned to privatise the Metro system and said it was looking at the best way to spend 300m from the government for modernisation.

Trade unionists and campaigners are at the football ground to voice their concerns.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The Metro is a public-sector success story.

"It is beyond belief that anyone could want to split it up and hive its operations off along the same disastrous lines as national railway network."

A Nexus spokesman said: "Nexus will still own Metro but will test whether services can be improved at less cost to the taxpayer as we spend hundreds of millions of public money.

"This is an opportunity for the industry to get an update on what our 'All Change' programme will deliver over the next 10 years."

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