Nexus is to invest half a million pounds installing a new footbridge and passenger lifts at Benton Metro station in North Tyneside.
Nexus, which owns, manages and is modernising Metro, is carrying out the work as part of its £350m Metro All Change programme which will see the network modernised over the next 11 years, including stations and trains.
The plans for Benton Metro station, which have received planning permission, include the dismantling of the old footbridge linking the north and south platforms and construction of a new bridge with new stairs and two new passenger lifts.
The lifts will vastly improve disabled access from one platform to another. The current disabled access at Benton involves a detour of more than 1,000 metres for anyone unable to use the stairs.
The development also includes improvements to existing pedestrian access from Linden Terrace to the north platform, installation of new CCTV cameras, new station signage and the conversion of two existing parking bays to disabled spaces.
North Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee approved the plans at a meeting last night, Tuesday February 16. The project is expected to be completed by early next year.
Nexus’ Director of Rail and Infrastructure, Ken Mackay, said: “This is an investment of £500,000 to make life easier for passengers who use Benton Metro station. The aim is to dramatically improve station access with two new lifts and a new footbridge. It will be money well spent.
“We have secured a £350m commitment from the Government to modernise the Metro system and improved station accessibility will form a major part of our plans going forward.
“The development at Benton will be of great benefit to Metro passengers who have a disability. The plans are in keeping with the surrounding Conservation Area and will give the station a more contemporary look.”
The image is an artist’s impression of the new Benton footbridge at night.