Metro boss apologises for disruption - and reveals £20million investment

Disruption continuing on the metro today.
Disruption continuing on the metro today.

Nexus has announced today it is to invest £20million in upgrading the Metro’s overhead lines - as problems brought rush hour chaos for a second day.

Scores of users were affected this morning when the services were suspended across the region.

Crowds of commuters at Brockley Whins Metro station this morning.

Crowds of commuters at Brockley Whins Metro station this morning.

Services between Heworth and South Shields were suspended yesterday afternoon and the problems spread to the line between Heworth and Brockley Whins this morning.

Trains between Heworth and South Hylton are now operating, however, the services between Monument and Heworth remain suspended due to a section of overhead line coming down near Gateshead Stadium.

There is a replacement bus service operating in the affected area calling at all Metro stations on the route and passengers are advised to allow extra time to complete their journeys.

Managing Director of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “I apologise to passengers who have been disrupted. Staff are on site and working hard to restore services as quickly as possible.

Metro chaos this morning.

Metro chaos this morning.

“We have had problems with two sections of the overhead line coming down at Gateshead Stadium this morning just after 8am and at Hebburn at 6pm on Wednesday evening.

“When the overhead line comes down we are unable to operate trains as they have no high voltage power fed to them.”

Nexus worked through the night to repair the line at Hebburn for this morning and engineers were sent straight to the Gateshead site to carry out an assessment and undertake the repairs today.

Nexus spokesman Huw Lewis announced the new investment today: “We will be making a £20million investment in upgrading the entire overhead line across 60km over the next three years,” he said.

Metro queues this morning.

Metro queues this morning.

“The work will start in January.”

Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott welcomed the news but said more investment as needed: “The inconvenience experienced by so many Metro passengers today highlights why investment is so desperately needed to modernise the system.

“The £20million upgrade of the overhead power lines is welcome but further investment is required if passengers are ever going to receive the reliable service they deserve.

Metro is anticipating having all the services operating by this evening.