South Tyneside Metro passengers angry over planned price rises
Plans to increase the cost of travel on Tyneside's Metro rail system should be derailed, according to Gazette readers.
Many have taken to social media to condemn the proposed New Year fare increase - with a day of commuter action and a refusal to pay among the proposed options.
System operator Nexus is to ask senior Tyne and Wear councillors to approve rises.
Bosses claim increases of 10p on most tickets, which would come into force on January 2, will allow them to reduce prices for young people under a new Pop blue card.
They say those aged 18 and under will pay only £1 for single trips, with a £2 daily price cap allowing for multiple journeys.
While there was some support on the Gazette’s Facebook social media page, most readers slammed the proposed move.
Armand Saroukos said: “I recommend we pick a day to do a system-wide protest day where nobody buys a ticket. That’ll show them and hurt them. You have a voice.”
And Bernice Hobson added: “I don’t even use the Metro but judging by how many news stories are on here in a week about problems with the service, I don’t know how they dare.”
For Brian Foster, the price of travel is good – but the frequency of trains “shocking”.
He said: “There should be a Metro every five minutes in rush hour and every 10 minutes for the rest of the day. A 24-hour service is needed.”
Mum Gillian McConway Morales claimed her son would be worse off, blasting: “This is not a better deal. The new blue card they talk about will be double.”
And James Parkin added: “Looks like we’ll all be walking the lines instead. Rather a £1,000 fine than pay for the Metro these days.”
Glenda Severs urged people to take the “cheaper” and “more reliable” bus instead, while Julieanne Besnard said: “I’d like to get it started that kids travelling to compulsory school should not have to pay any fare.”
Carl Simpson accused Nexus of being “clowns” who couldn’t run a full service for a single day without issues.
Ant MJ Thompson added: “Interesting. Metro prices still rise yet trains never run to a timetable. How can they charge you for a service you are quite clearly not receiving?”
But Graham Henderson urged commuters to “get a grip”, insisting: “It’s a few late trains and a 10p increase, you’d think you were going to overthrow some evil empire.”
And Gary Hodgson added: “It’s only going up 10p. Yes, it may have reliability problems, but we are lucky to have a Metro service.”
Nick Kerrick said: “I wouldn’t complain. Try paying for trains down south and you’ll see how good you actually have it.”