A new device that uses ultraviolet light to sanitise escalator handrails has been installed on the Tyne and Wear Metro as part of its range of covid-secure measures.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has fitted the UV equipment on 31 escalators on the network.
The UV light kills germs and is a safe and effective method of protecting high touch surfaces from coronavirus.
It is the latest in a range of measures to ensure that Metro is covid-secure for its customers who need to make essential journeys.
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “The UV technology is a safe and effective method of keeping our escalators sanitised.
“It’s vital because the handrails are some of the most high-touch surfaces on our network.
“We already have a rigorous cleaning regime across all of our stations and trains, but are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the transport network is clean and Covid-secure.
“Each device will continuously clean 31 escalators on Metro system. The device uses electricity from the escalator to power LED UV lights, which continuously sanitise the surface of the handrails whilst the escalator is in motion.
“The installation of these new devices, along with the provision of hand sanitiser points across the network, along with a range of other measures, will help us to carry on rebuilding customer confidence as we look to build back from the impact of the pandemic.
“We are already using hospital grade disinfectant on all surfaces which kill viruses immediately and protect those surfaces for 30 days, and we are replenishing that on a cycle.
“Customers should continue to follow all the rules regarding good hand hygiene and social distancing at all times. Face coverings remain mandatory on all modes of public transport unless exempt.”
Each device uses type ‘C’ UV light to kill germs on the surface of the handrail.
The technology has already been rolled out across the London Underground by Transport for London.
A range of extensive measures are already in place to provide a covid-secure experience on Metro.
This includes additional cleaning and anti-microbial treatments, contactless and smart payment, guidance to help people maintain social distancing throughout their journey, hand sanitiser points at busy stations and interchanges, and apps to help you see when buses and trains are busy.