Nexus has begun a £6m scheme to revamp the Metro ticket hall and platforms at Central Station in Newcastle as part of an ongoing programme of station modernisation work right across the Metro system.
The work forms part of the £350m Metro all change modernisation programme, which has already seen 23 Metro stations modernised at locations throughout the five districts of Tyne and Wear. Future plans will see further major improvements around the system planned and delivered jointly with local councils.
The refurbishment at Metro Central Station will see a key regional gateway Metro station transformed.
The project is being jointly funded, with £3.5m coming from the £350m Metro all change modernisation programme and a £2.5m contribution from the Government’s Single Local Growth Fund.
Cllr Joyce McCarty, Newcastle’s representative on the Transport North East committee, said: “Already people in Newcastle have seen the Central Station transformed into an impressive and welcoming gateway to the city. This work is the result of £10m worth of investment from a partnership of Newcastle City Council, NE1, Virgin Trains East Coast and Network Rail, with another £14m still to come for further works.
“The modernisation of the Metro concourse and platforms is an absolutely vital scheme that will further showcase the city to visitors. This exciting project will give the Metro station a vibrant new look.”
Head of Renewals at Nexus, Neil Blagburn, said: “We are modernising Metro stations across Tyne and Wear as part of our £389m modernisation programme.
“The project at Central Station will give the Metro concourse and platforms a vibrant, clean and more modern appearance.
“This is vital investment in the future of the Metro system and will dramatically improve the facilities at Central Station for the five million customers who pass through there each year.”
He added: “The work will mean some evening closures but we will ensure passengers will have plenty of information to keep the amount of disruption to a minimum. None of the closures will happen on the days when Newcastle hosts its Rugby World Cup matches.”
Metro Central station, which is used by 5.3 million passengers a year, will get improvements to accessibility, information and waiting facilities, as well as a bright new look.
The scheme will mean Metro platforms and tickets halls will have to close to passengers at 8pm, Sundays to Thursdays.
Like Haymarket, rebuilt in 2009, Central will feature a predominantly white interior with feature walls picked out in a feature colour, helping assist passenger navigation.
Improvements to the passenger waiting areas and platforms include new way-finding signage on new vitreous enamel panels.
New seating, which includes benches and renewed perch seats, and brighter lighting will be installed along with tactile paving to assist passengers with visual impairments.
Nexus has pushed back the works start date ensure it did not clash with the Great North Run weekend.
Central Metro Station will close to passengers at 8pm Sundays to Thursdays, but will be fully open on Friday and Saturday nights.
None of the evening station closures will take place October 4-11, when Newcastle hosts its three Rugby World Cup group matches and fanzone.
The evening station closures will also not apply from 1 December 2015 to 2 January 2016, over Easter 2016 and the May Day and Spring Bank Holidays.
Trains will run through the station when it is closed and call at other city centre stations as normal. A small number of weekend closures will be needed later in the programme.
Passengers will be advised to use Monument station when Central is closed; Metro staff will be on site at both stations to advise customers of walking and bus routes, and provide taxis from the station rank for people with restricted mobility.
Tolent are the construction contractors carrying out the refurbishment work on behalf of Nexus.