Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “South Shields Interchange will be a fabulous new asset for the town when it opens on 4 August, a few weeks before the Great North Run.
“Tens of thousands of people will flood through South Shields on Metro, with spectators on their way to the finish and runners heading home overlapping each other for a large part of the afternoon.
“The Interchange is designed with the run in mind, but it is common sense we build up use of the new interchange for the Great North Run, by opening for Metro this year and then planning to do so for buses in future years. That way we can make sure people arriving and leaving have a comfortable and safe experience throughout their day.
“Local buses for South Shields and surrounding communities will call around the corner on Coronation Street by Asda instead this year, and we have agreed this approach with South Tyneside Council, the Great Run Company and bus operators. Bus companies run limited local services on the day as some parts of their normal routes are closed for the run, and these services can easily be accommodated on Coronation Street. Buses for runners and spectators from the finish area back towards Newcastle are not affected by this at all.
“People queueing for Metro will approach along Ocean Road and King Street as they always have then cross Keppel Street - which is a one-way bus, taxi and access-only road - under the supervision of a specialist traffic management company. At no point will anyone be standing in the road.
“We plan Great North Run day meticulously alongside the event organisers and other partners. There will be more than 50 Metro staff in the town centre to advise and look after people whether they want to go by bus, Metro or Shields Ferry. Our staff in the town centre work alongside the many volunteers and staff from the police, St John’s Ambulance, the Great Run Company and council who make this day a success.
“Full details of local transport is included in the runners’ packs sent out to all entrants and there will be comprehensive information on our website www.nexus.org.uk and on posters at relevant stations, as well as on-street signage, before and on the day itself.”