Metro platforms fall silent in South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn for 12 weeks as work gets underway on Metro Flow dualling project
After seeing tens of thousands of Great North runners and spectators off home on Sunday, Metro platforms in South Tyneside fell silent today as major work got underway on the network.
The biggest ever Metro line closure began on Monday, September 12, for 12 weeks to allow for the £104million ‘Metro Flow’ track dualling project which transport chiefs say will improve reliability across the whole light rail system.
It will see three sections of single track – pinch points on the Metro network - dualled during the closure of the line between Pelaw and South Shields.
Passengers must either use replacement bus services or find other ways of completing their journeys until Metro services resume on Sunday, December 4.
The Metro Flow project is being carried out by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the planned the closure will be the longest and biggest in Metro’s 42-year history.
The organisation said customers travelling between Pelaw and South Shields are being strongly advised to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.
Service 900 will call at all affected stations on the route and the X900 will provide an express service from South Shields to Heworth.
Nexus said a total of £95million has been secured from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund to fund the scheme.
Cathy Massarella, major projects director at Nexus, said: “It is never an easy decision to close such a large section of the network for such a long period of time, but this is the only way that we can effectively deliver the track dualling works.
“I would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding while these works are taking place.”
She added: “The work will see three pinch points on the Metro network eliminated by the dualling of an existing freight line, which will become part of the of Metro’s own infrastructure.
“This also gives us the scope to examine future opportunities to expand the network to other areas that are currently not served by Metro.”
It comes amid aspirations to further expand the Metro system and create new stations.