'It gives the town the best new bus and railway station in Britain': £21million South Shields Metro interchange hailed
The first Metro trains will depart from the new centre at 7am on Sunday, August 4 and Metro system owner and operator Nexus expects those passengers to be the first of 7.5m passengers a year to pass through.
Customer services director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “We’re all really excited about the opening of the new South Shields transport interchange on Sunday.
“It gives the town the best new bus and railway station in Britain.
“The facilities are a step change in quality compared to what was there before. It will transform what we can offer to public transport users, with all bus and Metro services now under the same roof.”
The landmark building, which is clad in a striking copper shingle, brings bus and Metro services under the same roof in a modern new environment on Fowler Street and Keppel Street.
Access to the bus services will be ground floor level with the Metro gate lines and platform above on the first floor.
A large new concourse will include a Nexus TravelShop, café, two lifts, escalators, and stairs to provide improved access to the Metro platform.
The transport Interchange will provide a new, striking point of arrival into South Shields for both residents and visitors to the town, as well as enhancing connectivity to the various key areas of South Shields.
Sunday’s opening marks a major milestone in the £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan which is being undertaken by South Tyneside Council.
The new landmark building was designed by The Harris Partnership and constructed by Bowmer and Kirkland, who also built award-winning cultural venue The Word in South Shields Marketplace
Demolition of the existing Metro station and further public realm work will be completed following the opening.
The project received £9.4m from the Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.