TRAVEL UPDATE: Replacement bus service to run between Park Lane and South Hylton as stretch of Sunderland's Metro line still closed
The stretch of track has been closed since the end of last month due to flood damage caused to an electrical substation in Pallion.
Network Rail, which manages the railway through Sunderland, is continuing repairs but the region’s major travel provider has moved to introduce the new bus service to help alleviate disruption for passengers.
The service will start on Monday, December 19, with buses running every 20 minutes.
John Alexander, Metro Operations Director, said: “I know how frustrating the disruption through Sunderland is and while this is beyond our control we want to do all we can for Metro customers in the city.
“There will be two buses calling at stations between Park Lane and South Hylton from Monday, providing customers with a 20-minute frequency in that area at times when Metro would normally operate.”
Nexus is still able to run Metro trains on the Sunderland line between Pelaw and Park Lane, but with a 24-minute service frequency instead of the usual timetable of a train every 12 minutes. There is a 30-minute frequency on Sundays.
This stretch of track is owned by Network Rail who have stipulated this as the “maximum frequency possible” while the substation continues to be fixed and the power supply is lower than normal
When the replacement bus service starts, Metro ticket acceptance on Stagecoach bus services 8,10,11 and 20 between Sunderland and South Hylton will be removed.
December has seen widespread disruption on Metro services with completion of the £104 million Metro Flow project delayed for 10 days, resulting in the line between Pelaw and South Shields remaining closed beyond the initially stipulated 12 week period.
On Thursday (December 15), the day after the line reopened, there was further disruption with a stranded train causing residual delays of up to 40 minutes.
The ongoing travel disruption resulted in Nexus bosses issuing and apology to customers, citing the wintry weather and ageing fleet of trains as part of the reason for delays.