This is the reason why there’s no “i” in South Shields interchange

The new £21million transport interchange opened in South Shields this week, however some bus users have been left puzzled by the new bus stands.

By James Barker
Thursday, 08 August, 2019, 10:56
The South Shields Transport Interchange. Picture by Frank Reid

The new facility, which houses South Tyneside’s Metro and bus services under one roof, welcomed passengers for the first time on Sunday, August 4.

However, some eagle-eyed readers got in touch to point out that the bus stands at the new interchange go: “A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K,” and appears to be missing the “I”.

Nexus has confirmed that this is not a mistake and said it is standard design practice to prevent people getting the letters confused with numbers.

A South Tyneside council spokesperson said: “The lettering of the stand omits the letters I and O to avoid any confusion with the numbers one and zero. This is standard practice used in designs across the globe. Is and Os are often omitted to avoid confusion between letters and numbers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The replacement of the old Metro station and development of an integrated interchange with all buses and Metro under one roof has created a safer, more accessible facility for passengers, while providing a real sense of arrival for visitors.”

More observant bus users may have already been aware of this quirk, as it is the same in other stations.

A Nexus spokesman said: “It is an international design standard to omit stands lettered with I and O to avoid any customer confusion.

“There has never been a stand 'I' or 'O' at other interchanges and bus stations in the region, such as Gateshead, Eldon Square and Haymarket.”