Storm Babet creates travel chaos as major South Shields transport link suspended

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The Shields Ferry has been suspended until the weekend due to the arrival of Storm Babet.

Travel chaos is set to hit commuters with the news Storm Babet has forced the cancellation of all Shields Ferry services.

The ferry acts as the link between north and south banks of the Tyne, with scores of residents on either side of the river using the service both for work and leisure.

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The service is set to remain suspended for the rest of today (Thursday) and all day tomorrow, Friday October 20.

According to a statement, Nexus, the public body which owns and operates the cross Tyne service, said the storm had created a tidal swell which meant services have had to be withdrawn as a safety precaution.

The Ferry crew continue to monitor the conditions on the river, which are expected to worsen, with more heavy rain and high winds forecast for North East England untoil around 6am on Saturday.

Prices are also set to rise on the Shields Ferry.Prices are also set to rise on the Shields Ferry.
Prices are also set to rise on the Shields Ferry.

However, it has not been possible to put on any replacement bus services due to ongoing strike action.

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The statement confirming the cancellation read: “It has not been possible to source replacement buses today due to the Go North East strike and other operators being stretched covering school transport.”

A replacement taxi service will be provided tomorrow, with a 16-seater vehicle running between the two ferry landings via Tyne Tunnel.

Shields Ferry tickets are being accepted on Metro, and customers can also travel between North Shields and South Shields on Stagecoach services 10 and 11.

Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “Ferry crossings are going to remain off for the rest of Thursday and all day on Friday due to Storm Babet.

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“The storm has created a tidal swell which means we can’t dock the boats at our north landing. Strong winds are also expected tomorrow. The suspension is in the interests of safety. We will monitor the conditions with the aim of resuming services as usual on Saturday, 21 October.

“We have sourced a replacement taxi bus service for Friday, running every half an hour via the Tyne Tunnel.

“Unfortunately, we have been unable to arrange a replacement bus service today due to the Go North East strike and other local bus operators being stretched covering school transport services.

“I’m grateful to customers for their patience during this disruption. All the latest updates will appear on our website, www.nexus.org.uk and on the Shields Ferry’s Facebook page.”

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