New Metro timetable design

26 April 2018

What's happening?

We are updating the Metro timetable poster at the next timetable change (in late May 2018) to make it easier to read and easier to find trains on particular lines.  The new format also provides space to show journey times to more stations, and to provide ‘at-a-glance’ information about frequencies, first and last train times, plus more prominent links to digital sources. 

The new design matches the bus timetable format already familiar across Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, as well as on the Shields Ferry.  This allows Nexus to use an automated process to produce timetables more quickly and at less cost, with the saving made re-invested in Metro.

The core format is based on the software we use to produce bus route timetables, but we want to get passengers’ views on details of the poster before we settle on a final design.  We are contacting passenger groups, access groups representing the disabled and offering passengers the chance to comment online over three weeks’ consultation in April, and this feedback will be incorporated in the final timetable.

What’s changing?

The following changes are features of the new design.  You can view the current and new timetables by clicking on the image below or opening the downloads at the bottom of the page:

1Train times for the Yellow and Green lines will be split over two separate timetables on a single poster, so passengers can more easily locate the right service where the lines merge.
2Train times will be displayed in black text on a white background rather than black text on coloured backgrounds, to improve legibility.
3Train times will read horizontally in common with local bus and Ferry timetables, rather than vertically.
4A new route line diagram above each timetable will provide journey times to most or all stations, rather than a few selected stations at present.
5A new ‘at-a-glance’ quick reference panel will show frequencies at different times of day, first and last train times and indicate those stations served by all trains.
6All fonts and text sizes are in accordance with our policies on accessibility, based on previous consultation for bus timetables.
7The ability to produce the timetable quickly means that new versions can in future be created for short-notice changes, such as Major Line Closures for modernisation work.

This consultation is now closed.

Consultation response

We received 155 individual responses to our consultation on the design and format of Metro station poster timetables.  We also received group responses from several organisations and social media groups representing passengers.

Most people who provided individual responses were happy with the new design, with:

  • 90% of people said the ‘overall look and feel’ was better than the current timetable;
  • 83% said it was better for finding train times for a specific journey, and
  • 86% said it was better for working out how long a journey will take.

People also made suggestions and criticisms of the new design, which we will incorporate into the final posters when they are produced in May 2018.   These include:

  • 27 people said they felt additional peak services between Pelaw and Monkseaton/Regent Centre should continue to be shown on the timetables as individual departures.   As a result of this feedback we are going to include these on posters for journeys where the average wait is six minutes or more (for example when someone is travelling from Monkseaton to Haymarket).  Peak services will continue to appear on the official Metro App and journey planning tools so people can work out train times in advance, and be announced at stations in real time on PAs and information screens.
  • 19 people disliked the fact we are splitting the Green and Yellow lines onto separate posters – but 23 people specifically commented that this made the timetables easier to read, so we are keeping this format.
  • Five people, as well as access groups who responded, asked if we could make the font larger.  As a result we are increasing the minimum size from 12pt to 14pt.
  • Five people said promoting ‘last train’ times could be confusing, as they do not go to the end of each line.  As a result we are removing this feature as a separate box, with the information instead to be found within the timetable grid itself.

We aim to provide services which can be used by everyone in our community, so we consider feedback about accessibility carefully and invite responses from groups representing disabled passengers.  One person said the new design was easier for someone with dyslexia to read, but two said there could be a problem with black text on a bright white background.   While there is an issue of glare for PDF documents read on screens we don’t believe this will be the case with printed posters, but we will keep this under review.  As noted above we have also increased the minimum font size as a result of feedback.

More detailed results on the survey as a whole can be found in the pdf below.  Thank you for taking part.

Current Metro timetable
Proposed Metro timetable


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