6 Oct. 2009: The RMT union is calling for plans to privatise the Tyne and Wear Metro to be scrapped after it was announced that only one private company – DB Regio – is on the shortlist to run the service. This means that the other two bidders, MTR Corporation and Serco-NedRailways, are out of the race to win the operating concession, which will run from seven to nine years and is due to start in April.
DB Regio is now competing with an in-house bid from Tyne & Wear Metro, which was intended to test the value of bids from the private sector. Should it win, Metro operations will stay in public ownership, although Tyne & Wear PTE told Railnews that it would run as an "arms length" company.
The RMT has vowed to step up what it is describing as an "anti-privatisation" fight as the contest enters its final stage.
The winner should be announced in January.