A campaign has been launched to highlight how easy it is to access the Tyne and Wear Metro system with a bike.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has almost 300 cycle lockers and cycle storage pods across 60 stations – including smart-lockers which can be accessed easily using a Pop card.
From Friday 9 November passengers travelling off-peak will be able to take a bike on Metro trains in more areas of the system.
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “We want people to know how easy it is to combine cycling with Metro travel today. We have almost 300 smart lockers and secure storage pods right across Metro whenever you travel. Most of our customers take Metro to get to work and these are perfect to use during the busy peak periods.
“Everyday cycling for work, education and a trip to the shops is starting to take off in North East England. Good, secure smart lockers expand the reach of Metro by making it easier to get to the nearest station and travel on by train to town and city centres.
“You can also take a folding bike on Metro at any time, and for people travelling later in the day we are now extending a trial allowing up to two bikes per train to most of the Metro network at off-peak times.
“We have worked closely with cycle groups to get the storage offer right at our 60 stations, and explore ways we can allow non-folding bikes on our trains off peak which reflects the needs of all our customers.
Our trial has been successful up to now so we can open up new areas for off-peak travel. We will learn from this trial as we make decisions about the design of our £362m new train fleet.”
Bikes are now allowed on Metros between Callerton Parkway and Jesmond, Manors and Jesmond (via Whitley Bay), and Gateshead Stadium and South Shields/South Hylton. This applies from Monday to Friday, 10am – 3pm, 7pm until end of service, and all day at weekends.
Bikes must be carried safely, without causing delays to trains, and without causing a nuisance to other passengers or getting in the way of wheelchair users.
Bikes are not allowed through the busy stations in tunnels under Newcastle and Gateshead or at the Newcastle Airport Metro station.
There is no charge to take a bike on Metro above the cost of a Metro fare.
Each Metro carriage has a designated storage area for a bike which is clearly sign posted with a blue and white bike sign. Only one bike is allowed in each Metro carriage.
Wheelchair users and customers with pushchairs will still get priority over bikes for the use of the designated storage space inside each Metrocar.
There are smart cycle lockers at nine Metro stations - Callerton Parkway, East Boldon, Felling, Four Lane Ends, Gateshead, Jarrow, Northumberland Park, Regent Centre, and West Monkseaton.
In order to activate a Metro smart locker customers need a standard, corporate, Pay As You Go or Under 16 Pop card, or a Concessionary travel pass. Just take the card to any Nexus Travel Shop and it can be made active to open and close the smart lockers.
Other Metro stations with cycle storage either free standing cycle pods or Sheffield- bike stands for customers to secure their bikes.