How Metro bosses aim to make trains safer for Sunderland and South Tyneside travellers as lockdown eases

Metro trains are undergoing enhanced cleaning to reduce the spread of coronavirus as lockdown restrictions ease.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the rail system throughout Sunderland and South Tyneside, is using a longer-lasting cleaning agent to provide anti-viral protection for up to 30 days to meet new government covid-secure standards.

The disinfectant is being applied in Metro carriages, including drivers’ cabs and passenger saloons, by spray.

Nexus says it kills 99.99% of germs and keeps critical surfaces and touchpoints cleaner for longer.

Metro’s fleet of 90 trains is being treated in preparation for higher passenger numbers as more shops and schools reopen as lockdown measures are eased.

Operations director Chris Carson said: “This enhanced disinfectant gives greater confidence to our customers who need to use the service as lockdown measures start to lift.

“The new cleaning fluid is more effective because it lasts for 30 days, reducing the risk of coronavirus spreading. It helps us to ensure that Metro meets a covid-secure standard.

“We are expecting to see some uplift in passenger numbers as more shops start to re-open, allowing more people to return to work, and Metro is there for people who really do need to use it.

Metro's fleet of trains are being sprayed with tougher disinfectant to redce the risk of coronavirus spreading as lockdown eases.

“We are making sure that our stations and trains are cleaned to the highest standard, and that there is clear information on how to socially distance as you travel.

“People are still advised to take Metro only where they need to, such as for work, if you cannot do so from home, and where you can’t walk, cycle or use a car.

“Customers should also follow Government advice and wear a face covering when travelling on public transport.”

Cleaning on the Metro system had already been stepped up before the lockdown started.

That regime involves the daily use of a hospital-grade cleaning fluid on high-touch surfaces such as handrails, poles, buttons and ticket machines.

Each carriage is being treated with the new disinfectant, which is called Zoono Z-71, at the Metro depot at South Gosforth, in Newcastle.

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