Want to take your bike on the Metro? Service extends trial
A trial allowing Metro passengers to get on their bikes has been extended.
The trial started in 2016 when Nexus - the public body which owns and manages the system - wanted to explore whether it would be possible to allow bikes on trains without causing inconvenience.
From today, bikes are allowed on trains between Jesmond and Callerton Parkway, in North Tyneside, between the 10am and 3pm on weekdays - as at present - as well as 7pm until the end of service on weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday.
Only one bike is permitted per carriage.
The extension to the trial means passengers can now take bikes on trains in the evening for the first time, as well as all day at weekends.
If it proves to be a success, the trial will be extended to further parts of the Metro later this year.
Nexus say, though, that there are no plans to allow standard bikes to be carried at peak times.
Folding bikes can already be carried on all parts of the Metro system when folded.
Nexus managing director Tobyn Hughes said: “We have been running a limited trial to see if bikes can be accommodated on Metro outside peak hours without causing problems for other passengers, delays to trains or safety issues.
“The trial has been a success up to now, so we are expanding it in stages – first the times and days when people can take a bike with them on Metro, and then to further parts of the system.
“The trial allows us to learn the potential and limitations associated with allowing bikes on trains before the new fleet design is finalised and new Metro trains come into service.
“The decision to go with longitudinal seating on our new trains provides a more accessible and flexible internal space which has potential for bikes, but we haven’t made any decisions about this and we will evaluate the trial and consult with passengers before we do.
“We want to support cyclists as much as we can here in Tyne and Wear, and Nexus has already invested to make sure there is secure cycle storage at or near every station.”
Coun Joyce McCarty, North East Combined Authority member and deputy leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “I really welcome the expansion of the cycle trial on Metro.
"The trial has been a huge success and Nexus are now taking the next step in their provision for cyclists.
"I want our town and city centres to be as cycle friendly as possible, as it contributes to healthier lifestyles and improved air quality.
“The trial on the current Metro fleet has been vital work as Nexus looks to see what extra space for bikes can be incorporated into the new trains.”