GREAT NORTH RUN: Extra ferry and Metro services

Extra Metro and ferry services are being laid on for the Great North Run
Extra Metro and ferry services are being laid on for the Great North Run

Extra ferry and Metro services are being laid on tomorrow for the Great North Run.

Runners and spectators are being advised to allow extra time for their journeys.

The Shields Ferry will have both of its vessels operating in tandem for the event, with 10,000 passengers expected to use the river crossing on Sunday.

Pride of Tyne and Spirit of the Tyne are both needed to cope with the huge volume of people who rely on the service to get from South Shields to North Shields after the run.

Ferry manager Carol Timlin said: “The Great North Run is our busiest day of the year, so both of the ferries will be running to cope with the high demand. We will carry more passengers in that single day than at any other time of the year.

“There will be long queues to get on board but we will clear these as quickly as we can. Extra staff are going to be on duty to provide information and

assistance to customers.”

Ferry services will start on Sunday from 8.45am and will run until 6pm.

With both vessels running, there will be a river crossing every seven and a half minutes, moving 1,300 passengers per hour during the busiest part of Sunday afternoon.

Extra staff will be on duty to manage the long queues in South Shields and to provide passengers with customer service.

The ferry queue will build from 1pm and will grow in numbers between 1pm and 3pm, reaching maximum capacity at around 3pm. Traditionally the last of the queue clears at 6.15pm-6.30pm.

All zone Metrosaver tickets and Metro Great North Run wristbands are valid for travel on the Shields Ferry.

For all the latest travel information go to www.nexus.org.uk Live updates will also be available on The Shields Ferry Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/theshieldsferry

Extra Metro services will also be in operation until early evening, when the timetable returns to normal, with trains running every seven and a half minutes between Newcastle city centre and South Shields, to help people to the start of the run, and home afterwards.

There will be around eight trains an hour from South Shields.

Metro services are expected to be very busy from early morning and throughout the day on Sunday, as the network supports around 85,000 people on the day of the Great North Run each year.

Metro services director Chris Carson said: “A significant amount of planning has gone into this year’s Great North Run and extra resources are in place to manage the huge level of demand and to allow us to provide a good service to our customers on what is one of Metro’s busiest days of the year.

“However, I would advise customers to expect long queues and trains to be extremely busy. Runners and spectators should allow extra time for their journeys and purchase tickets in advance to avoid further queues at ticket machines on the day.

“We will have lots of staff on the ground at key locations across the network who will be able to provide advice and assistance to customers. We will clear queues as quickly as possible but it will take time so I would ask customers to remain patient.”

“We also want to make sure passengers are safe and as comfortable as possible when travelling throughout the day. Remember to stay hydrated before, during and after the run. Trains will be busy, if train windows are closed, open them to help keep cool. And if you feel unwell, leave the train and speak to staff at the station, or use the station Help Point to speak to staff.”

Metro is encouraging customers to avoid queuing at the ticket machines on the day by buying a Metro ticket in advance.

Special Great North Run tickets will be available from any Metro ticket machine by selecting GN Run 10/9 Adult or GN Run 10/9 Child.

The Great North Run is the busiest Sunday of the year for Metro and a range of measures have been put in place this year to ensure a good service is provided to customers on the day.

Staff will keep people informed with approximate waiting times and will be available to sell Metro tickets to people in the queue at South Shields Metro station following the race.

The queues will be long, and in previous years average waiting times have been about 90 minutes, however there will be entertainment at the station to help pass the time.

Some stations will be temporarily closed before and after the run to help with the movement of passengers, improve crowd control and manage the queues. These include: Haymarket, which will be exit only (no entry into the station) between 8am and 10.40am; Jesmond, which will be closed from 10.40am until early afternoon; and Chichester, which will be closed from 3.00pm until later in the evening.

To help plan your journey, use the Live Travel Map: https://livemap.nexus.org.uk/#/liveDepartures or visit www.nexus.org.uk/metro/greatnorthrun
Runners and spectators can get all the latest live travel updates from the @My_Metro Twitter page and at www.nexus.org.uk/metro