Work has started on the demolition of South Shields’ old Metro station, which closed earlier this year.
The station, on King Street, was shut permanently on 8 July to make way for the town’s new £21m transport interchange.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has begun works that will see the station building demolished piece by piece.
The demolition work involves the removal of the station’s iconic vitreous enamel panels and signage. The structure of the building will then be taken down by a specialist contractor.
It will pave the way for a new public realm in South Shields town centre, with a new walkway into King Street.
Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “With the superb new transport interchange up and running, the demolition of the old Metro station is the next big milestone in Phase Two of South Shields 365. Its demolition will clear the way for a new public realm which will complete the transformation of this area of the town.”
Nexus Project Manager, Peter Lewis, said: “The demolition process has started. The old station is being taken down piece by piece.
“The panels that covered the building’s exterior have been taken out and this has exposed the brickwork of the building and that will be taken out.
“This is the safest method of demolition. We are taking care not to do anything that will affect the Metro embankments or the running line, which will still be needed.
“Once the demolition work has been completed the work can start on transforming the public realm through to the main shopping areas on King Street.”
South Shields Metro station, which featured in a song by pop group Franz Ferdinand, was opened in 1984 and has been used by more than 50 million passengers over the last 35 years including tens of thousands or Great North Run athletes and spectators every autumn.
Its closure in July was the first permanent closure of a Metro station since the system opened in 1980.
The new £21m South Shields Interchange, which opened on 4 August, brought town’s bus and Metro services under one roof in a landmark, airy, modern building that includes escalators and lifts to platform level as well as a café, bike storage, seated waiting areas and much better customer information.
South Tyneside Council worked with partners Muse Developments and Nexus, and construction contractor Bowmer and Kirkland, to deliver the new South Shields Interchange on Keppel Street.
Construction of the interchange, which forms Phase Two of the £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan, began in April 2018.
Bowmer and Kirkland are carrying out the demolition work on behalf of Nexus.