The Tyne and Wear Metro will return to a normal daytime service frequency from Monday May 18, maximising the capacity for social distancing on the network.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, is increasing the frequency of Metro services from 24 minutes to 12 minutes until 8pm every day, Monday to Friday, following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
In peak travel periods there will be a train every three minutes between Pelaw and Regent Centre and Pelaw and Monkseaton, making Metro among the most frequent train services in the country - and creating space for customers to follow the two-metre social distancing rule, where possible.
People are advised to take Metro only where the journey is essential, such as for work if you cannot do so from home, and where you can’t walk, cycle or use a car.
Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “The safety of customers is our top priority and we are following Government advice to create a Covid-secure environment on the Metro system.
“By putting more trains into service at busy times we can maximise the space that we have for social distancing.
“The new timetable will deliver a 12-minute frequency of service. There will be a train every three minutes through the central area between Pelaw and South Gosforth at peak times. This gives us more capacity and takes us back to pre-lockdown levels of service at busy times.
“People are advised to take Metro only where a journey is essential, such as for work if you cannot do so from home, and where you can’t walk, cycle or use a car. If you do have to travel then you need to follow social distancing rules, stay two metres apart as much as possible, and wear a face covering at all times.
“We have made sure Metro stations and trains are cleaned to the highest standard, and that there is clear information on how to distance as you travel.”
Metro will continue to operate a reduced timetable on weekday evenings from 8pm and all day at weekends.
Anyone who does need to use Metro is advised to pay for their travel in advance using a Pop card or pay with a contactless debit/credit card at the station.