Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has scored success at the prestigious Rail Business Awards in London for meeting the needs of a packed programme of summer events in North East England.
The award win, in the Accessibility and Integrated Transport Excellence category, was for delivering an unprecedented level of additional Metro services in the summer of 2018.
The summer tested Metro’s resources to the limit through an unprecedented programme of exhibitions, stadium concerts and open-air family events that drew visitors from across the country and saw Metro carry an extra half a million passengers.
Nexus was also Highly Commended for Marketing and Communications Excellence for its successful campaign to win Government funding for a new Metro train fleet.
The UK Rail Business Awards is the most high profile awards ceremony in the industry, attracting high quality entries from across the UK.
Managing Director of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “This highly prestigious national award is deserved recognition for the unprecedented levels of extra Metro services that we delivered last summer.
“We were up against some of the very best firms in the railway industry and we have ended up winning. It’s a huge honour and it’s testament to the hard work of our staff over many months.
“It was our busiest ever summer in 2018, as North East England played host to a raft of high profile events that attracted thousands of people, many from outside our region. The Tyne and Wear Metro had a vital role to play and we carried an extra 500,000 passengers.”
Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear Sub-Cttee, Cllr Gladys Hobson, said: “My thanks and congratulations go to all Nexus and Metro staff. The summer of 2018 was our busiest ever and thanks to their hard work and commitment we delivered an outstanding level of service for a whole host of high profile events.”
Metro staff worked thousands of additional hours over the busy summer of 2018, and hundreds of extra trains generated more than 500,000 extra journeys and excellent passenger feedback.
Between the late May bank holiday and first weekend of September 2018 we delivered extra services for: the Magic Weekend, Ed Sheeran, The Great Exhibition of the North, open air concerts in South Shields, The Tall Ships, Little Mix, the Sunderland Airshow and the Great North Run.
By the end of last summer Metro had operated more than 200 additional services above the normal timetable and this was in no small part due to the efforts of all the staff at the Metro Depot in Newcastle.
Metro traincrew worked 1,226 extra hours and customer service and temporary staff worked 4,336 additional hours.
This was augmented by creative communications and clever marketing touches.
This generated an estimated additional 500,000 journeys associated with summer events, on top of the 80,000 journeys that are an annual feature of the Great North Run.