Metro line to close for modernisation work

Part of the Metro will be closed for 15 days.

Part of the Metro will be closed for 15 days.

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The Metro line between Benton and Monkseaton is to close for more than two weeks from Saturday to allow for a major programme of track replacement.

A total of 3.8km of track will be replaced during the 15-day closure from Saturday, July 23, to Saturday August 6.

The work, which forms part of the £350million Metro all change modernisation programme, will involve the replacement of ageing track and tracks beds, which are more than 50 years old.

A replacement bus service, 900, will be operating from Four Lane Ends interchange, calling at all Metro stations on the affected route.

Raymond Johnstone, director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, said: “This is our second major piece of modernisation work in North Tyneside this year. It is vital work.

“We are replacing sections of line between Benton and Monkseaton. The tracks are 50 years old and the work needs to be done now as part of our £350million Metro all change programme.

“This can only be done effectively by closing the Metro line for 15 days. We’ll be working round the clock to keep the disruption to a minimum.

“When the line is closed our customers will be provided with a frequent replacement bus service and they won’t be more than two or three stops away from linking back into the Metro system. I’d like to apologise in advance to anyone who is inconvenienced by the line closure.”

Nexus has ensured the work is carried out in the summer because passenger numbers are lower at this time of year, especially when the schools are shut for the summer break.

Tynemouth, Cullercoats and Whitley Bay Metro stations will remain open throughout the line closure and will be served by trains on the Metro line that operates from Newcastle via Wallsend.

Metro services to and from Newcastle city centre via Wallsend will continue to run to the usual frequencies, terminating at Monkseaton, with an enhanced service during peak periods.

Nexus has already sent letters to more than 3,000 households in North Tyneside to make residents aware of the forthcoming works.

It previously replaced six kilometres of track between Wallsend and Tynemouth during 2011 and 2012.

This was followed in August 2013 by a 27-day closure to renew the tracks between Haymarket and South Gosforth.

For further information about the major line closures in North Tyneside, passengers can find out more on the Nexus website, www.nexus.org.uk or by calling the Nexus Customer Service Centre 0191 2020747.