Metro timetable reduced to reflect coronavirus spread

Metro on QE2 bridge
19 March 2020

Metro services are operating to a reduced timetable as part of measures to reflect the spread of coronavirus.

All additional peak hour services between Pelaw and Monkseaton or South Gosforth will be cancelled until further notice.  In addition there may be additional core train services cancelled at short notice as our employees follow Public Health advice and self-isolate.

Metro will otherwise operate a normal timetable on services between Airport and South Hylton, and South Shields and St James, throughout the day and evening.

The change is being made so that passengers can be certain when trains will run, as Metro sees a reduction in available staff in the coming days as a result of the spread of coronavirus.

Huw Lewis, Customer Service Director at Nexus, said: “We have withdrawn Metro’s additional peak services so that passengers can be more certain when trains will run, rather than face sudden cancellations should we see a reduction in available staff.  Our core service at other times of day will also, unfortunately, be affected to some extent though the vast majority of these trains will run.

“Fewer people are using Metro now following public health advice, and the move by universities in the region to online teaching.   There will be enough Metro trains to meet demand, although passengers may have to wait longer.

“Metro has an essential role to play getting people to work, not least in the health sector, so this action is about making sure we provide a sustainable, convenient service people can plan around.

“Passengers can remain confident about travelling by Metro when they need to make a journey. We have taken on extra people and increased cleaning of trains and stations.”

The timetable change means Metro will still seek to provide a train at least every 12 minutes to all stations on Metro during the day, and every six minutes through the centre of Newcastle and Gateshead.

The number of people using Metro has fallen 8% since the start of March as the impact of coronavirus is felt in North East England.

In a letter to passengers and stakeholders in the region release today Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Transport North East and the boss of Nexus, describes the role public transport has to play in the coming months.

He says public transport operators, including Nexus and commercial bus companies, are working together to plan services and monitor the impact of the virus.

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Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director

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