The Metro Futures consultation is being led by Newcastle University’s Open Lab and will seek feedback on a range of parameters including seating layout, passenger information, and accessibility. Pop-up labs will be set up at locations across Tyne and Wear and the public will be invited to comment through social media, workshops, and video diaries.

Feedback from the exercise will be shared with international rolling stock suppliers.

Nexus is currently finalising a bid for funding from the Department for Transport for the procurement of new rolling stock to replace the fleet of 90 two-car trains built by Metro-Cammell in 1975-81. The fleet was refurbished by Wabtec between 2010 and 2015 with the aim of extending their service life until 2025.

Replacement of the Metro fleet is a core component of the £1bn Metro and Local Rail Strategy, which was approved by the leadership board of the North East Combined Authority (Neca) in July. A detailed business case for the investment programme is due to be presented to the DfT by the end of the year.