Concessionary Travel pass holders can travel free on public transport before 9.30am if they are going to or from a coronavirus vaccination appointment.
Nexus has confirmed that older and eligible disabled customers can travel on local buses in Tyne and Wear – and Metro if they have a Metro Gold Card – providing they have proof of an early morning appointment, such as a letter, email or text.
This extra concession works the same as the longstanding ‘hospital appointment’ concession.
Concessionary Travel passes and Metro Gold Cards can otherwise be used after 9.30am weekdays and all day at weekends and public holidays.
And a dedicated bus stop is now in place directly outside the mass vaccination hub at the Centre for Life in Newcastle, and is served by many frequent services from across the region. Click here for more information: New dedicated bus stop improves access to the vaccination centre at Centre for Life.
Cllr Gladys Hobson, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear Sub-Committee, said: “Public transport has a key role to play in getting people to vaccine centres as part of the national effort to defeat Covid-19.
“We want to make this as easy as possible for people, which is why we have relaxed the rule so that concessionary pass holders can travel before 9.30am if they have an early appointment to get a jab.
“This extra concession works the same as the longstanding ‘hospital appointment’ concession. Concessionary Travel passes and Metro Gold Cards can otherwise be used after 9.30am weekdays and all day at weekends and public holidays.
“This agreement is only for people who have a valid appointment on the day of travel. I urge passengers not to make any non-essential journey on any of our services.”
Central Station is the nearest Metro stop to the mass vaccine hub at the Centre for Life in Newcastle.
People should only attend the centre if they have been contacted by the NHS to go along for the Covid-19 jab.
The closest Metro stop to the vaccine Centre is Central Station. It is best to exit the station via the Neville Street entrance, before heading west along Neville Street to the Centre for Life, which is approximately 250 metres away.
If heading home on Metro after having the vaccine people still need to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.
People who book into a vaccine centre will be greeted by volunteers who will marshal carparks and register them when they arrive. Bookings are staggered to allow social distancing.
They will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they have their jab and then be observed for 15 minutes. The process should take well under an hour.
As with other vaccination services people should wait to be invited by the NHS.
The NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service can only be used by those who have received an invitation letter. It will also not be possible to get a vaccine at a Vaccination Centre or Community Pharmacy without an appointment. Doing so risks disrupting the work of NHS staff in protecting those at highest risk.