Metro's just the ticket for Japan's Paralympic hero

Taka Suzuki with the NHK news team at Gateshead Interchange
22 February 2019

The Tyne and Wear Metro is just the ticket for Paralympic gold medallist Taka Suzuki.

Taka, a swimmer who has won gold for Japan in the pool, regularly travels on Metro to get to and from his training base at Northumbria University.

And he’s a big fan of Metro due to its ease of wheelchair access, which allows him to travel unassisted between Gateshead and Newcastle city centre.

Taka is a legend in Japan having won a gold medal at the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting channel, sent a news crew over from Tokyo to report on Taka’s progress and how he uses the Metro to travel around.

They followed Taka on his typical daily Metro commute from Gateshead Interchange to Haymarket Metro station.

Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “It’s great that Taka is making use of the Tyne and Wear Metro to get around our area.

“He’s a regular on our services when he heads into university, and he’s always saying hello to our staff when he passes through. He’s a great guy and he’s become a familiar face. In Japan he’s a national hero.

“The Metro system was specifically built so that wheelchair access would be available at all of the stations, something that quite a lot of other light rail systems cannot offer.”

All 60 stations on the Tyne and Wear Metro have step free access to allow for wheelchairs.

© 2020 Nexus Tyne and Wear - Public Transport and Local Information.